UCLA Extension

Modern Infrared Detectors and System Applications

Infrared (IR) applications have increased dramatically over the last decade as arrays of infrared detectors have increased in size, performance, and availability. For over 30 years, this internationally renowned course covering the field of infrared technology has served as an ideal primer for individuals wishing an intensive exposure to current thinking as well as an update for those seeking to review and refresh their knowledge. From a review of basic infrared detection methods to an introduction to advanced focal planes and systems, instruction is geared to allow participants to immediately apply what they have learned. The course features infrared devices for military and commercial use, including both cooled and uncooled detectors.

Coordinator and Lecturer

Alan Hoffman, PhD, Engineering Fellow, Raytheon Infrared Center of Excellence, Santa Barbara, California. With 22 years experience in infrared focal planes at Hughes Aircraft Company and Raytheon (Santa Barbara Research Center), Dr. Hoffman has developed sensors for tactical, strategic, and astronomy applications and has been involved with their design, manufacture, and testing. He has a strong interest in teaching, beginning as a graduate student at Princeton University, later as an assistant professor at University of Rochester, and teaching focal plane system engineering classes at Santa Barbara Research Center.


Terrence S. Lomheim, PhD, Distinguished Engineer, The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, California. Dr. Lomheim has been employed at The Aerospace Corporation for the past 26 years during which time he has held both management and technical staff positions. He has performed detailed experimental evaluations of the electro-optical properties, imaging capabilities, and radiation effects sensitivities of infrared and visible focal plane devices. He also has been involved in the development of modeling tools used to predict instrument-level performance for sensor systems that use advanced infrared and visible focal plane technologies. He is a part-time instructor in the physics department at California State University, Dominguez Hills, and regularly teaches technical short courses for the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE) and for UCLA Extension.

William Radford, Principal Engineering Fellow, Raytheon Vision Systems, Santa Barbara, California. Mr. Radford has 25 years of experience in the development of advanced infrared detectors and focal plane arrays, and has worked extensively on both cooled and uncooled detector technology. His responsibilities have ranged from advanced development to production implementation, and his research has included material and device development for HgCdTe photovoltaic and VOx microbolometer detector arrays. His current work involves the development of multi-color and large-format infrared detector arrays. Mr. Radford has led FPA development projects for military, space, and commercial applications. He is currently a committee member of the Military Sensors Symposium Detector Specialty Group.

John L. Vampola, Engineering Fellow, Raytheon Infrared Center of Excellence, Santa Barbara, California. Mr. Vampola has over 21 years’ experience in infrared technology, including visible focal plane subsystems and instruments covering detector and readout design and focal plane test. He has also been the technical director of two remote sensing instruments. He is the author of “Readout Electronics for Infrared Systems” in the Infrared and Optical Systems Handbook.

Course Program

Introduction to Infrared Detection (Hoffman)
Introduction to infrared sources and detection of infrared radiation. Overview of detector history and current technology trends. Introduction to semiconductor physics and semiconductor structures used in detecting infrared.

Modern Infrared Detectors

A survey of the various types and kinds of IR detectors covering device materials, device architecture, device design and fabrication issues, device physics, and device performance (signal noise). Coverage of both photoconductive (PC) and photovoltaic (PV) detector types. Specific detector types include HgCdTe PC and PV homojunction and heterojunction PV devices; III-V based multiple quantum well detectors (QWIP); superlattice detectors; extrinsic silicon impurity band detectors; silicide Schottky barrier detectors; and uncooled (e.g. bolometers) detectors.

Focal Plane Electronics

Detector signal preamplifiers, multiplexers, and output buffers for multi-element arrays using readout integrated circuits. Theory of operation and application of circuit types. Introduction to “smart” focal planes. Primer on common CMOS processing utilized for infrared focal plane electronics. Effects of ionizing radiation on the performance of CMOS devices and ways to design for radiation-hardened applications.

Introduction to Infrared Systems (Lomheim)
General infrared applications; IR camera/instrument designs, deployment modes, and system implementations; IR camera/instrument performance metrics and design trades; review of available IR focal plane technologies and their associated performance; IR focal plane utilization; system applications and system drivers.

For more information contact the Short Course Program Office:
shortcourses@uclaextension.edu | (310) 825-3344 | fax (310) 206-2815