Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-1997

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - (M.S.)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Edwin Hou

Second Advisor

N. M. Ravindra

Third Advisor

Timothy Nam Chang


Uncooled microbolometer focal plane array is one of the promising method used in uncooled infrared imaging projects. The array's advantages over the conventional cooled imagers are its ability to operate without cryogenic cooler or dewar and its low cost. For the past several years, the ULTRA (Uncooled, Low cost, Technology Reinvestment Alliance) Consortium has been developing uncooled microbolometer imaging system.

This thesis investigates the technology behind the ULTRA camera system. The theoretical as well as the operation of the uncooled microbolometer focal plane array and the processing hardware and software is analyzed and explained.

Thermoelectric cooler controller for the microbolometer focal plane array is designed and described. The thermoelectric cooler, a solid state heat pump, is used to stabilize the temperature inside the microbolometer array packaging at a constant temperature to obtain higher microbolometer performance. The controller is designed and simulated to stabilize minimum of 20mK change in temperature inside the packaging.