Animated MWIR test patterns

Optron Systems is developing an integrated infrared scene projection (IRSP) system for testing of IR imaging/tracking systems and focal plane arrays, incorporating our novel VLSI membrane mirror light modulator (VLSI-MMLM) technology. With true flicker-free, non-polarizing analog grayscale operation at up to 100 Hz achievable in mid-wave and long-wave infrared (MWIR/LWIR) bands, our system will present a low-power, high-contrast alternative to current resistor arrays.

MWIR projector with thermal source, MMLM, video driver, and camera.

Using external off-chip illumination, the IRSP is compatible with a wide range of monochromatic, broad-spectrum, and hyperspectral sources, and generates little on-chip heat. The MMLM chip can be easily actively cooled for further reduced IR background, as its high-power drive amplifiers are external to the chip.

The scene projector can run in a direct grayscale mode, and support for multi-color operation is in development. As the underlying MMLM architecture is compatible with scene projection in wavelengths from near-UV to LWIR, a wide range of spectral scene synthesis is possible.

In-house captured MWIR test patterns

A single MMLM may be used in a sequential mode for color multiplexing such as RGB-IR, or multiple color-channel MMLMs may be run in parallel with registered output.

To date, we have created benchtop prototypes of MWIR scene projectors with a 200 x 200 array of 100 µm pixels on a 20 mm square substrate, and systems with a 768 x 768 array of 60 µm pixels on a 46 mm square substrate, which have also been demonstrated operating at visible wavelengths. In addition, alternate geometries based on our range of MMLM capabilities can be designed to suit a range of application requirements such as LWIR or multi-spectral operation.

For further details, please refer to our MMLM / IR scene projection white paper.

Interested parties in the infrared scene projection technologies under development, or in novel video projection applications, are encouraged to contact us at with questions and requirements, or to schedule a prototype demonstration.