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New detector arrays under development will enable a new generation of high-resolution, high-speed cameras that can image near, room temperature at high sensitivity in the shortwave-infrared (SWIR) spectrum using arrays detectors, instead of single-element detectors.

Princeton Infrared Technologies is developing detector arrays for military coherent laser detection and ranging (LADAR) sensors. The company is working under terms of a $750,000 phase-two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.

“These next-generation detector arrays will benefit long-range LADAR used by the Air Force to identify targets,” according to the company. “Current systems require cryogenic cooling while these materials will not, thus vastly lowering costs, size, weight, and power.”

Cryogenic cooling is used for reaching temperatures under -150 C.

The company, which is focused on supplying shortwave infrared detectors to both the commercial and defense markets, aims at developing detector arrays using multi-quantum well materials enabling detection from 0.9 to 2.4 microns and high-quantum efficiency.

According to militaryaerospace.com, using multi-quantum well materials “will enable high-sensitivity detectors to image beyond what lattice-matched indium gallium arsenide detectors can detect in the SWIR range,” says Martin Ettenberg, president of Princeton Infrared. SWIR (shortwave infrared) imaging is used in industrial processing for inspection. It enables defects to be detected that are invisible to the human eye.