Cost effective thermal and visible imaging for security and surveillance (cetvis)

There is a vast need of integration of low cost thermal sensor into security and surveillance systems. The project aims to develop the world's most cost-effective thermal imaging technology, coupled with visible which will create a paradigm shift in use of thermal imaging technology in the market.

There is insufficient use of thermal imaging in security & surveillance camera systems due to high costs of existing sensor and camera core solutions in the market. However effective protection ensuring accurate detection and imaging of intruders at day and night is only possible with installation of thermal imaging (or visible imaging systems coupled with thermal sensors) systems. Although there are thermal imaging cameras in the market, they rely on high cost thermal imaging sensors or camera cores using these sensors. This market is heavily dominated by a few US thermal sensor or camera core suppliers whose technology and know-how is based on military and defence sector where cost is not a major issue. Due to relatively complex and expensive approach of these suppliers in thermal sensor development, camera producers in the surveillance market tend to use CCTV technology to be competitive in price sensitive market segments. Consequently, effective security monitoring in low end security surveillance applications, which is only possible by use of thermal imaging sensors, cannot be realised. Mikrosens developed and patented a unique cost-effective microbolometer development technology which enables microbolometer fabrication with only 1 MEMS mask that decreases the fabrication cost sharply. Mikrosens also developed wafer-level vacuum packaging technology that enables the packaging of the sensors on a wafer simultaneously with high vacuum levels and long vacuum life. With the use of these technologies, it is possible to mass fabricate microbolometers in order to provide high thermal imaging sensor demand in the market. This proposed project will enable combining the knowledge and expertise of Mikrosens and NNFC in order to develop the world’s most cost-effective thermal imaging sensors. The project aims four important milestones.The first milestone is to adopt Mikrosens’ cost-effective microbolometer type thermal imaging sensors technology to NNFC’s 180nm SOI-CMOS technology in order to achieve smaller pixel sizes with moderate sensor performance. With the help of high lithography resolution of NNFC’s 180nm technology, it will be possible to increase the thermal isolation of the microbolometers and shrink the pixel pitch down to 25um. The second milestone is to develop high performance cost-effective microbolometer technology by embedding NNFC’s amorphous silicon microbolometer active material into the CMOS fabrication steps and utilizing Mikrosens’ cost-effective microbolometer fabrication methodologies. This technology will enable very simple microbolometer fabrication with only 1 MEMS mask and will be compatible for mass fabrication, while increasing the pixel performance with the use of highly temperature sensitive amorphous silicon active material. This technology will have no-match in the literature and enable the way to achieve the low-cost thermal imaging sensors with high performance. The third milestone is to develop thermal imaging sensors with the use of the high performance cost-effective microbolometer technology described above. Mikrosens will design and develop the thermal imaging sensors and NNFC will fabricate the sensor. The post-CMOS fabrication steps will also be carried out by Mikrosens. The forth milestone is to embed the thermal imaging sensor developed in the project into surveillance camera systems in order to enable thermal imaging in the security cameras. Upon the completion our project, we aim to offer best value proposition to existing CCTV type camera producers which are in need of a low cost thermal imaging system coupled with visible imaging to ensure effective security and surveillance. Facilitating integration of thermal imaging to almost all low end security and surveillance camera systems, there will be a paradigm shift in use of thermal imaging technology in the market.
Project ID: 
9 996
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
2 700 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.