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 techsales@optronsystems.com with questions and requirements, or to schedule a prototype demonstration.