A novel microbolometer technology could replace the infrared sensors in industrial and home security systems, providing longer detection range, intelligent electronic readout, and an imaging capability.
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.
However, the primary objective is to develop a smart sensor capable of target recognition, high detection confidence, target counting and direction of movement, data storage and playback, and imaging display. Optional vacuum packaging and the use of a chalcogenide glass lens results in exceptionally high detective performance, approaching that of cryogenically cooled photodetectors. This suggests further possible applications, including low-cost medical imaging, short-range fire fighting, and pedestrian detection cameras.