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A microbolometer is a specific type of bolometer used as a detector in a thermal camera. Infrared radiation with wavelengths between 8-13 ìm strikes the detector material, heating it, and thus changing its electrical resistance. This resistance change is measured and processed into temperatures which can be used to create an image. Unlike other types of infrared detecting equipment, microbolometers do not require cooling.
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Microbolometer focal plane array (FPA) detectors, commonly employed in IR sensors, are usually vacuum packaged for high performance, which impacts the cost of fabrication. Our initiative enables packaging at atmospheric pressure using high-volume micro-circuit processing. In its simplest form, the technology can be implemented as an upgrade to current PIR sensors, offering extended detection range and fire detection capacity.
Starting in the mid-1980s scientists at Honeywell Research Center under a classified development contract began work on a new class of infrared sensors. Until this time infrared sensors were photon-sensing devices that converted infrared energy or photons into electrons.
The detector works by measuring the temperature of each of its pixels. The material is designed to change its electrical resistivity as the temperature changes. The temperature of the scene is focused on the material by the lens system. The detector has a quite small mass, and is thermally isolated from its supports so that its temperature changes rapidly with the small amount of focused energy.
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