AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH

Heilbronn, Germany

AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH

Heilbronn, Germany
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Hawkins G.,University of Reading | Sherwood R.,University of Reading | Djotni K.,University of Reading | Coppo P.,SELEX Galileo | And 2 more authors.
Applied Optics | Year: 2013

The sea and land surface temperature radiometer (SLSTR) is a nine-channel visible and infrared highprecision radiometer designed to provide climate data of global sea and land surface temperatures. The SLSTR payload is destined to fly on the Ocean and Medium-Resolution Land Mission for the ESA/EU global monitoring for environment and security (GMES) programme Sentinel-3 mission to measure the sea and land temperature and topography for near real-time environmental and atmospheric climate monitoring of the Earth. In this paper we describe the optical layout of infrared optics in the instrument, the spectral thin-film multilayer design, and the system channel throughput analysis for the combined interference filter and dichroic beam splitter coatings to discriminate wavelengths at 3.74, 10.85, 12.0 μm. The rationale for selection of thin-film materials, the deposition technique, and environmental testing, inclusive of humidity, thermal cycling, and ionizing radiation testing are also described. © 2013 Optical Society of America.


Rehm R.,Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics | Walther M.,Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics | Schmitz J.,Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics | Rutz F.,Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics | And 3 more authors.
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2010

In the past years, the development of the type-II InAs/GaSb superlattice technology at the Fraunhofer-Institute for Applied Solid State Physics (IAF) has been focused on achieving series-production readiness for third generation dualcolor superlattice detector arrays for the mid-wavelength infrared spectral range. The technology is ideally suited for airborne missile threat warning systems, due to its ability of low false alarm remote imaging of hot carbon dioxide signatures on a millisecond time scale. In a multi-wafer molecular beam epitaxy based process eleven 288x384 dualcolor detector arrays are fabricated on 3'' GaSb substrates. Very homogeneous detector arrays with an excellent noise equivalent temperature difference have been realized. The current article presents the type-II superlattice dual-color technology developed at IAF and delivers insights into a range of test methodologies employed at various stages during the fabrication process, which ensure that the basic requirements for achieving high detector performance are met. © 2010 Copyright SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering.


Ruhlich I.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Mai M.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Withopf A.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Rosenhagen C.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2014

Significantly increased FPA temperatures for both Mid Wave and Long Wave IR detectors, i.e. HOT detectors, which have been developed in recent years are now leaving the development phase and are entering real application. HOT detectors allowing to push size weight and power (SWaP) of Integrated Detectors Cooler Assemblies (IDCA's) to a new level. Key component mainly driving achievable weight, volume and power consumption is the cryocooler. AIM cryocooler developments are focused on compact, lightweight linear cryocoolers driven by compact and high efficient digital cooler drive electronics (DCE) to also achieve highest MTTF targets. This technology is using moving magnet driving mechanisms and dual or single piston compressors. Whereas SX030 which was presented at SPIE in 2012 consuming less 3 WDC to operate a typical IDCA at 140K, next smaller cooler SX020 is designed to provide sufficient cooling power at detector temperature above 160K. The cooler weight of less than 200g and a total compressor length of 60mm makes it an ideal solution for all applications with limited weight and power budget, like in handheld applications. For operating a typical 640x512, 15μm MW IR detector the power consumption will be less than 1.5WDC. MTTF for the cooler will be in excess of 30,000h and thus achieving low maintenance cost also in 24/7 applications. The SX020 compressor is based on a single piston design with integrated passive balancer in a new design achieves very low exported vibration in the order of 100mN in the compressor axis. AIM is using a modular approach, allowing the chose between 5 different compressor types for one common Stirling expander. The 6mm expander with a total length of 74mm is now available in a new design that fits into standard dewar bores originally designed for rotary coolers. Also available is a 9mm coldfinger in both versions. In development is an ultra-short expander with around 35mm total length to achieve highest compactness. Technical solutions and key performance data for AIM's HOT cryocoolers will be presented. © 2014 SPIE.


Schirmacher W.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Wollrab R.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Lutz H.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Schallenberg T.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Electronic Materials | Year: 2014

Significant improvements of HgCdTe (MCT) detectors for the midwave infrared (MWIR) region with cutoff wavelength of about 5.2 μm at 77 K have been achieved. Optimizing the CdTe passivation proved to be a decisive step towards higher operating temperatures. The optimization was done by refining the interdiffusion process of the CdTe passivation layer with the liquid phase epitaxy-grown layer. The dark current density was reduced almost to the level of Rule 07, a common infrared detector benchmark. Additionally, improving the passivation process also decreased tunneling. These advancements also showed up in the focal-plane array (FPA) performance. A considerable reduction of the noise-equivalent temperature difference at temperatures above 130 K was attained. Based on these preliminary results, an operating temperature for these devices of more than 160 K is expected. Additionally, infrared (IR) pictures taken with a MWIR MCT-based FPA processed with the previous, slightly improved technology are presented. It is shown that good picture quality is attained at operating temperature of 140 K while retaining operability of 99.61%. © 2014 TMS.


Lutz H.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Breiter R.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Rutzinger S.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Schallenberg T.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2013

Since many years AIM delivers IR-modules for army applications like pilotage, weapon sights, UAVs or vehicle platforms. State-of-the-art 640×512, 15μm pitch detector modules are in production in manifold configurations optimized for specific key requirements on system level. This is possible due to a modular design, which is best suited to meet the diversity of system needs in army applications. Examples are optimization of detector-dewar length for gimbal applications, size weight and power reduction for UAVs or lifetime enhancement for vehicle platforms. In 2012 AIM presented first prototypes of megapixel detectors (1280×1024, 15μm pitch) for both spectral bands MWIR and LWIR. These large format detector arrays fulfill the demand for higher spatial resolution, which is requested for applications like rotorcraft pilotage, persistent surveillance or tasks like determination of threat level in personnel targets. Recently, a new tactical dewar has been developed for the 1280×1024 detector arrays. It is designed to withstand environmental stresses and, at the same time, to quest for a compact overall package. Furthermore, the idea of a modular design will be even more emphasized. Integration of different cooler types, like AIM's SX095 or rotary integral, will be possible without modification of the dewar. The paper will present development status of large format IR-modules at AIM as well as performance data and configuration considerations with respect to army applications. © 2013 SPIE.


Ruhlich I.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Mai M.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Rosenhagen C.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Schreiter A.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Mohl C.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2011

State of the art high performance cooled IR systems need to have more than just excellent E/O performance. Minimum size weight and power (SWaP) are the design goals to meet our forces' mission requirements. Key enabler for minimum SWaP of IR imagers is the operation temperature of the focal plane array (FPA) employed. State of the art MCT [1] or InAsSb nBn [2] technology has the potential to rise the FPA temperature from 77 K to 130-150 K (high operation temperature HOT) depending on the specific cut-off wavelength. Using a HOT FPA will significantly lower SWaP and keep those parameters finally dominated by the employed cryocooler. Therefore compact high performance cryocoolers are mandatory. For highest MTTF life AIM developed its Flexure Bearing Moving Magnet product family "SF". Such coolers achieve more than 20000 h MTTF with Stirling type expander and more than 5 years MTTF life with Pulse Tube coldfinger (like for Space applications). To keep the high lifetime potential but to significantly improve SWaP AIM is developing its "SX" type cooler family. The new SX040 cooler incorporates a highly efficient dual piston Moving Magnet driving mechanism resulting in very compact compressor of less than 100mm length. The cooler's high lifetime is also achieved by placing the coils outside the helium vessel as usual for moving magnet motors. The mating 1/4" expander is extremely compact with less than 63 mm length. This allows a total dewar length from optical window to expander warm end of less than 100 mm even for large cold shields. The cooler is optimized for HOT detectors with operating temperatures exceeding 95 K. While this kind of cooler is the perfect match for many applications, handheld sights or targeting devices for the dismounted soldier are even more challenging with respect to SWaP. AIM therefore started to develop an even smaller cooler type with single piston and balancer. This paper gives an overview on the development of this new compact cryocooler. Technical details and performance data will be shown. © 2011 SPIE.


Ruhlich I.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Mai M.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Rosenhagen C.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Withopf A.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Zehner S.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2012

State of the art Mid Wave IR-technology has the potential to rise the FPA temperature from 77K to 130-150K (High Operation Temperature, HOT). Using a HOT FPA will significantly lower SWaP and keep those parameters finally dominated by the employed cryocooler. Therefore, compact high performance cryocoolers are mandatory. AIM has developed the SX040 cooler, optimized for FPA temperatures of about 95K (presented at SPIE 2010). The SX040 cooler incorporates a high efficient dual piston driving mechanism resulting in a very compact compressor of less than 100mm length. Higher compactness - especially shorter compressors - can be achieved by change from dual to single piston design. The new SX030 compressor has such a single piston Moving Magnet driving mechanism resulting in a compressor length of about 60mm. Common for SX040 and SX030 family is a Moving Magnet driving mechanism with coils placed outside the helium vessel. In combination with high performance plastics for the piston surfaces this design enables lifetimes in excess of 20,000h MTTF. Because of the higher FPA temperature and a higher operating frequency also a new displacer needs to be developed. Based on the existing 1/4" coldfinger interface AIM developed a new displacer optimized for an FPA temperature of 140K and above. This paper gives an overview on the development of this new compact single piston cryocooler. Technical details and performance data will be shown. © 2012 SPIE.


Wenisch J.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Eich D.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Lutz H.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Schallenberg T.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Electronic Materials | Year: 2012

Driven by the need for more efficient and cost-effective production of infrared (IR) detectors as well as the demands for novel (third-generation) device concepts, a large amount of effort has been spent on the development of molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) for fabrication of high-quality HgCdTe (MCT) layers on both CdZnTe and alternative substrates. The bulk of recent publications focuses on Si as an alternative substrate material. The intent of this paper is to highlight the potential benefit of using GaAs as an alternative substrate material by presenting MCT material grown by MBE on GaAs at AIM. Mid-wave IR MCT/GaAs material has been processed by AIM's standard planar n-on-p technique. Focal-plane arrays with 640 × 512 pixels and a 15 μm pitch design show low and homogeneous noise equivalent temperature difference of 18.3 ± 2.0 mK at 99.31% operability. To analyze the feasibility of MBE growth of long-wave IR MCT on GaAs, a layer with 8.8 μm cutoff at 80 K has been fabricated and processed into 640 × 512 pixels, 15-μm-pitch arrays. Initial current-voltage characterization yields promising results and illustrates the potential of MBE growth for LWIR MCT detector production. © 2012 TMS.


Patent
AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Date: 2014-06-18

A compensating oscillation device (2) for a linear piston system (1) is mentioned that comprises a housing (4), at least two coupling elements (10) and a inertial mass (8) that is coupled to the housing (4) by means of each coupling element (9) and is able to be deflected along an axis (7), wherein each coupling element (9) is attached on the housing (4) at at least one respective attachment region (26, 28) and to the inertial mass (8) at at least one respective connection region (18, 20). For this purpose it is provided that on each of the at least two coupling elements (9) the at least one connection region (18) to the inertial mass (8) lies radially closer to the axis (7) than the at least one attachment region (26) to the housing (4), and that in the rest state the inertial mass (8) is disposed between two coupling elements (9) in the axial direction. Moreover, a linear piston system (1) with a linearly displaceably supported piston (40) and a compensating oscillation device (2) of said type are mentioned.


Lutz H.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Breiter R.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Figgemeier H.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | Schallenberg T.,AIM INFRAROT MODULE GmbH | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2014

High operating temperature (HOT) IR-detectors are a key factor to size, weight and power (SWaP) reduced IR-systems. Such systems are essential to provide infantrymen with low-weight handheld systems with increased battery lifetimes or most compact clip-on weapon sights in combination with high electro-optical performance offered by cooled IR-technology. AIM's MCT standard n-on-p technology with vacancy doping has been optimized over many years resulting in MWIR-detectors with excellent electro-optical performance up to operating temperatures of ∼120K. In the last years the effort has been intensified to improve this standard technology by introducing extrinsic doping with Gold as an acceptor. As a consequence the dark current could considerably be suppressed and allows for operation at ∼140K with good e/o performance. More detailed investigations showed that limitation for HOT > 140K is explained by consequences from rising dark current rather than from defective pixel level. Recently, several crucial parameters were identified showing great promise for further optimization of HOT-performance. Among those, p-type concentration could successfully be reduced from the mid 1016 / cm3 to the lower 1015/ cm3 range. Since AIM is one of the leading manufacturers of split linear cryocoolers, an increase in operating temperature will directly lead to IR-modules with improved SWaP characteristics by making use of the miniature members of its SX cooler family with single piston and balancer technology. The paper will present recent progress in the development of HOT MWIR-detector arrays at AIM and show electro-optical performance data in comparison to focal plane arrays produced in the standard technology. © 2014 SPIE.

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