Microbolometer Detectors for Passive Millimeter-Wave Imaging

Report No. ARL-TR-3460
Authors: Joseph Nemarich
Date/Pages: March 2005; 43 pages
Abstract: Reports on far-infrared and infrared microbolometer detectors developed with cooled high temperature superconductor (HTSC) materials were reviewed to determine whether it would be feasible to use this type of detector in a passive millimeter wave camera (PMC). A base-line set of achievable HTSC microbolometer parameter values were identified and used to calculate the noise equivalent temperature difference (NETD) of a cooled MMW radiometer with this type of detector. The report includes results showing that the calculated NETD of such a radiometer operating at a 30-Hz modulation frequency would be between 3 and 6 K for an RF bandwidth between 70 and 40 GHz. A PMC with this NETD would be competitive with that of previously developed systems, be much less costly, and be suitable for a number of applications. The results of further calculations made to determine the HTSC microbolometer parameter values needed to obtain an improved MMW detector are included in the report.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2005