“Staring IR Spatial Modulation Sensor (SIRSMS): Large-format performance from small-format IR focal plane arrays”, J. Merchant, F.J. Iannarilli, S.H. Jones, and H.E. Scott, Proc. MSS Symp. on Passive Sensors (2003).
Aerodyne Research, Inc (ARI) and RPU Technology, under an AFRL Phase 2 SBIR, recently built and field-demonstrated a new type of staring sensor (patent applied for) employing the Spatial Modulation concept invented by RPU. Spatial Modulation provides the high spatial resolution necessary for wide-area point target detection in clutter, achieving equivalent large-format focal plane array (FPA) performance from a smaller-format FPA (or FPA sub-region). For example, our Staring Infrared Spatial Modulation Sensor (SIRSMS) prototype achieves an effective 1 milliradian (1mr) IFOV across a 90-degree field-of-view using only a 256x256 FPA - a conventional imaging approach would need a 1500x1500 FPA to achieve similar performance. Moreover, SIRSMS performance is achieved at ~2 orders magnitude less digital processing than the conventional approach. SIRSMS offers payoffs for tactical missile warning, self-protection systems, and ballistic missile surveillance systems.