Low-cost Longwave Bolometer Camera Fabrication Techniques
ID: A244-025Type: BOTH
Overview

Topic

Low-cost Longwave Bolometer Camera Fabrication Techniques

Agency

Department of DefenseN/A

Program

Type: SBIRPhase: BOTHYear: 2024
Timeline
  1. 1
    Release Oct 3, 2023 12:00 AM
  2. 2
    Open Oct 3, 2023 12:00 AM
  3. 3
    Next Submission Due Mar 31, 2025 12:00 AM
  4. 4
    Close Mar 31, 2025 12:00 AM
Description

The Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking proposals for the topic "Low-cost Longwave Bolometer Camera Fabrication Techniques" as part of their SBIR 24.4 Annual solicitation. The objective of this topic is to develop novel technologies and fabrication techniques to reduce the cost of sensor payloads based on resistive microbolometer technology. The focus is on reducing the unit cost of the focal plane array and supporting a low-cost sensor. The solutions should be ready to transition into a camera module development effort by the end of Phase II.

The solicitation emphasizes the importance of thermal longwave infrared (LWIR) capabilities in various Army applications and the need for a thermal sensor payload with high-definition array and dramatically reduced unit price. The solutions can involve novel manufacturing techniques, new materials systems, innovative component or module designs, or other approaches. Direct to Phase II contracts will focus on demonstrating enabling developments, and Phase II sequential efforts will deliver a prototype payload meeting the specified requirements for evaluation by Army Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or other programs.

Phase I of the solicitation is only accepting Direct to Phase II (DP2) proposals with a cost of up to $2,000,000 for an 18-month period of performance. DP2 proposals are highly encouraged if they meet the requirements. Proposals should demonstrate the estimated cost reduction compared to products made with current fabrication techniques and discuss the impact on size, weight, and power of a complete camera module. Initial ideas on potential paths for integration into a production camera module should also be discussed.

Phase II involves designing and fabricating a prototype device that demonstrates the proposed solution to reduce thermal sensor payload unit cost. The impact of the solution on the unit price of a final sensor payload and its incorporation into such a payload should be discussed. Relevant interfaces should be defined and documented, and potential partnerships with integrators or other companies for follow-on efforts should be considered.

In Phase III, the solicitation highlights the potential dual-use applications of leveraging bolometer manufacturing methods for low-cost long wave infrared (LWIR) sensors. These applications include smartphone camera augmentation, UAV camera augmentation (specifically via the Office of Naval Research), home security systems, and climate tech via quantum dot (QD) development.

Overall, this solicitation seeks innovative solutions to reduce the cost of thermal sensor payloads based on resistive microbolometer technology, with potential applications in various military and commercial sectors.

Files
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