Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - PIT-4

Understanding
Cryocooled Infrared
System Reliability
W
here the ability to detect
mid-wave infrared (MWIR)
radiation is mission critical,
readiness and the importance
of long, maintenance-free infrared
(IR) system operation is vital. In turn,
cooled MWIR camera modules must be
designed, tested, and manufactured to
meet rigorous environmental and reliability
requirements. This includes military
temperature ranges and high shock
and vibration levels. Cooled MWIR camera
reliability and operational lifetime
are typically determined by the operation
and lifetime of the cryo-cooler within
such systems.
Infrared Camera Module and
System Introduction
Cryocooled MWIR camera modules
come in a variety of model configurations,
each incorporating similar components,
but with slight variations to optimize
performance versus size, weight,
and power. The following components
and functions are included in MWIR
camera modules and systems.
Focal Plane Array (FPA): The FPA is
comprised of a detector hybridized to a
read-out integrated circuit (ROIC). The
detector converts MWIR photons to an
electrical current. The ROIC reads the
current and provides an analog voltage or
digital signal that is proportional to the
number of photons at the detector. Presently,
InSb and most HgCdTe detectors
operate best at cryogenic temperatures
(e.g., 77K). These low temperatures require
significant cooling capacity, which
translates into a larger cooler size, increased
weight, and increased power. Hot
MWIR Barrier Infrared (e.g., T2SL) detectors
are considered high operating
temperature (HOT) at approximately
120K operation and, therefore, require
less cooling capacity. These higher temperatures
mean smaller cooler size, lower
weight, less power required, reduced time
to image, and increased cooler lifetime.
4
Photonics & Imaging Technology, May 2022
PIT Imaging Feature 0522_1.indd 4
Cov
ToC
4/18/22 12:13 PM
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Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022

Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - Intro
Tech Briefs Magazine - May 2022 - Sponsor
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