Air Force STAMPEDE program to develop high-temp MWIR sensor chips for satellites

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M., 21 March 2013. U.S. Air Force researchers are asking industry to develop high-performance radiation-hardened medium wavelength infrared (MWIR) sensor chip arrays (SCA) that can operate at high operating temperatures for persistent-surveillance satellites.

Scientists at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., have released a broad agency announcement (BAA-RV-12-01-CALL0001) for the Superlattice Technology Arrays for Midwave Photon Excited Detector Enhancement (STAMPEDE) program.

STAMPEDE seeks to develop rad-hard infrared sensor chip arrays suitable for space intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) applications. The goal is to demonstrate high-temperature MWIR sensor chips capable of operating at 130 Kelvin or higher to detect low to moderate photon irradiances.

Known performance limitations include detector noise, defects, background carrier concentration, passivation, and processing, Air Force researchers say.

For these kinds of high-temperature space applications, Air Force experts particularly are interested in photovoltaic antimony based strained layer superlattices (SLS) are most promising because of known limitations in mercury cadmium telluride performance in the medium-wave infrared waveband. Thermal detectors will not be considered.

The program has an option to build a flight package for sensor chip assembly, as well as four separate for strained layer superlattice growth-characterization efforts. STAMPEDE is subject to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

The basic STAMPEDE effort is 39 months -- three years of technical performance and three months for final report preparation. Contracts will be cost-plus fixed-fee types. Companies interested should respond no later than 15 April 2013.

For technical questions or concerns contact the Air Force's Vince Cowan by email at, or by phone at 505-853-4591, or Chris Morath by email at, or by phone at 505-246-1603.

For contracting questions contact Joel Perrine by email at, or by phone at 505-853-0982.

More information is online at

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