Release Date
November 29th, 2023
Open Date
January 3rd, 2024
Due Date(s)
February 21st, 2024
Close Date
February 21st, 2024
Topic No.


Ultra-Broadband High-Definition High-Frame Rate NIR-MWIR Imager


Department of DefenseN/A


Type: SBIRPhase: BOTHYear: 2024


The Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking proposals for the development of an Ultra-Broadband High-Definition High-Frame Rate NIR-MWIR Imager. This technology falls under the Integrated Sensing and Cyber critical technology area. The objective is to create an infrared imager with a wide bandpass ranging from the Near Infrared (NIR) to the Mid-Wave Infrared (MWIR) spectrum, specifically from 0.7 micrometers to 5.5 micrometers. The imager will be used to characterize signatures of military targets, including missile plume and hardbody signatures, in both static and free flight tests. This information will support the design and testing of missile warning and countermeasure systems. The imager will also have applications in temperature/emissivity determination of hypersonic thermal protection systems during ground tests. The use of the infrared detector material InAsSb is encouraged. The project will be conducted in two phases. Phase I will focus on feasibility and conceptual design, including an analysis of alternatives and identification of high-risk technical elements. Phase II will involve the development of iterative prototypes and the delivery of a fully operational prototype imager. In Phase III, a limited production of imagers will be conducted for integration into existing signature measurement systems. The technology will have wide military applications for surveillance, night vision, target detection, identification, and tracking. Additionally, there are potential commercial applications in security, surveillance, non-contact imaging thermometry for manufacturing, and other defense applications. The solicitation was released on November 29, 2023, and the application due date was February 21, 2024. More information can be found on the website or the DOD SBIR/STTR Opportunities page.


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Integrated Sensing and Cyber


The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.


OBJECTIVE: Development of an infrared imager with an ultrawide bandpass encompassing the Near Infrared (NIR) to the Mid-Wave Infrared (MWIR) spectrum: 0.7 micrometers to 5.5 micrometers.


DESCRIPTION: Broadband infrared imagers are required to characterize signatures of military targets, both cooperative and hostile.  The specific need is the characterization of missile plume and hardbody signatures in static and free flight tests.  This threat characterization supports the design and testing of missile warning and countermeasure systems.  The combination of a broadband imager with multiple filters allows registered imagery to be acquired in multiple bands, covering a broader spectral range than currently available hyperspectral imagers.  The multi-band ultra-broadband data would also be useful in temperature/emissivity determination of hypersonic thermal protection systems during ground tests in arc-heated facilities.  The infrared detector material InAsSb is an enabling technology to be considered.


PHASE I: The Phase 1 effort should develop and prove the feasibility of the proposed approach through an analysis of alternatives, identification of high-risk technical elements, and generation of a conceptual design matrix that lays out how achievable design parameters impact system requirements – e.g. frame rate achievable as a function of focal plane array size.  The system design should be sufficiently detailed to guide the Phase II work with a minimum of risk.    The Phase I effort will culminate in a conceptual design that optimally meets system requirements and a detailed plan for development of a prototype system during the Phase II effort.


PHASE II: The conceptual design will be matured into a detailed design.  Iterative prototypes will be developed to validate the fundamental approach.  The Phase II effort will culminate in the demonstration and delivery of a fully operational prototype imager along with a validated design for future larger scale production.


PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Phase III efforts would include a limited production of a number of imagers for inclusion in existing signature measurement systems, such as the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Field Measurement Team and the Center for Countermeasures Joint Standard Instrumentation Suite.  Broadband infrared imagers of this type would find wide military application for surveillance, night vision, and target detection, identification, and tracking.  As mentioned above, applications for non-contact temperature/emissivity measurements for hypersonic systems and other defense applications are also possible.   Commercial applications for security, surveillance, and non-contact imaging thermometry for manufacturing should also be pursued.  Infrared imagers are now a ubiquitous piece of laboratory hardware.  Advances in infrared imagery will find wide application supporting many disciplines.



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Ting, David Z., Sir B. Rafol, Arezou Khoshakhlagh, Alexander Soibel, Sam A. Keo, Anita M. Fisher, Brian J. Pepper, Cory J. Hill, and Sarath D. Gunapala. 2020. "InAs/InAsSb Type-II Strained-Layer Superlattice Infrared Photodetectors" Micromachines 11, no. 11: 958.;


KEYWORDS: Near Infrared, NIR, InAsSb, Indium Arsenide Antimonide, focal plane array