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History

2009 During the SPIE Defense & Security in Orlando, USA, AIM demonstrated thermal sights on the basis of 640x512 modules with a pixel raster of 15µm. This detector was simultaneously produced in the spectral range of 3-5µm and 8-10µm and builds the backbone of future thermal sights by high thermal and geometrical resolution with minimal weight, volume, power consumption and price.
On the basis of this detector AIM secured directly a deal for an improved thermal sight for the German reconnaissance UAV "Luna".
AIM acquired further Lots of SADA 1 detectors.
Laser radar detectors allow the tridimensional scanning of a scene by illuminating it with a laser of 1,5µm and with measurement of the runtime of the laser pulse. Key technology of these detectors could be realised in form of extremely fast read-out circuits and avalanche photodiodes.

2008 Production of first detector modules on the basis of molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) on GaAs-substrates with outstanding electro-optical qualities and few defect density. The MBE on alternative substrates is one of the key technologies regarding significant cost reduction in the range of the semiconductor technology.
RangIR has been selected as thermal sight for grenade launchers and for the German IdZ-ES.
Prototypes of 1024x256 detectors with 2,5µm cut-off wavelength are available for hyperspectral detectors for the space program GENSIS. AIM wins the competition for KOMPSAT 3A, a non-European space program.
AIM is the leading supplier for linear coolers on the global market.

2007 AIM develops RangIR. Basis of RangIR is HuntIR, extended by a laser range finder (LRF), a digital magnetic compass (DCM) and a ballistics computer. Target applications are the night fighting sight for the grenade launcher and – marginally modified – thermal sight for the enhanced system of the German IdZ (IdZ-ES).
First prototypes of Pulse-Tube Coldfingers with cooling live cycles of up to 50,000 hours are available.

2006 AIM wins series production contract for Lot 3 of the US defence program SADA I and is thus confirmed as partner for high-end programs of the US-Government. Hence AIM is one of only two suppliers which are able to fulfill the technical requirements of what is physically possible. Nearly at the same time the anniversary of 30 years of Infrared Technology in Heilbronn has been celebrated. AIM wins Lot 1 of the Aladin UAV with an uncooled camera which weighs less than 200g and with minimum power consumption. With Aladin AIM supplies all present German UAVs programs.

2005 Demonstration of the first dual-color superlattice module worldwide. This product was directly selected for the IR missile approach warning system for the A400M airfreighter. AIM receives series production contract of 3.600 modules for IRIS-T; New shareholder RDE (50% shares).

2004 Worldwide first infrared camera demonstration with (3-5) µm 256x256 GaSb-Superlattice detector array; AIM wins the competition for the series contract of the thermal sight for the German program Infantry Man of the Future (IdZ). Delivery started only 3 months after signing the contract.

2003 Foundation of Integrated Circuit Design Team within AIM with main focus an the design of ROICs for infrared FPAs

2001 AIM and IAF-Freiburg, Germany were awarded by the Stifterverband der Deutschen Wirtschaft with the innovation prize of the year 2001, honoring their joint scientific achievements for an QWIP infrared camera with world-wide best thermal resolution (< 10 mK)

2000 US government mandates AIM to develop prototypes for the US defence program SADA I, “Standard Advanced Detector assembly”

1999 Besides the 384x288 MCT-modules 480x6 and 576x7 MCT configurations are available as leading edge units for scanned modules; First samples of unique low noise 640 x 512 QWIP technology available with < 20 mK NETD; Stirling cooler SL 400 is available

1998 Integration of the IR-production Ulm into AIM plant Heilbronn

1997 AIM starts equipment business with the smallest fully digital FLIR camera designed for UAV program application. In 2003 series production with upgraded version starts and is used in the German reconnaissance UAV “Luna” in Kosovo and Afghanistan; Long life Stirling cooler SL100 was qualified at NVESD of US Army.

1996 Since 01/01/1996 AIM operates as a separate GmbH, 186 employees, DM 50 Mil. turnover, EHG and BGT are (50/50) shareholders; Start of the development for SADA, HDIR, QWIP, FPA based seeker detectors

1995 First contract on second generation IDCA with the U.S Government

1993 Definition of a concept for modular “Integrated Detector Cooler Assemblies with added value by digital signal post-processing; Shipment of the first PtSi modules only 2 years after having started the development.

1992 First IRCCD detector delivered to the German/French TRIGAT program; First IRMUX detector delivered to an U.S. customer; First Linear Stirling cooler with integrated electronics

1989 Start of second generation technology for TRIGAT programs

1988 Joint signature of German/French contracts with SAT/Sofradir to co-operate in 2nd Generation MCT detectors for the PARS program; foundation of the society EURODIR. Buyback of the division IR-Development from TEG.

1987 AEG wins major US-contract ( TADS/PNVS, 992 D/C sets). Product Division "Infrared and Nightvision Modules" with a turnover of 100 Mio. DM and 490 employees

1984 PT-contracts with US program (LANTIRN; ADATS; AHIP)

1982 First Common Module production units qualified with Night Vision Lab, Washington, D.C.; 1st contract with Carl Zeiss AG; production ramp up to 50 modules per month of detectors coolers, LED's, preamplifiers

1980 Moved into new building in HN, production area of 6.500 m²

1979 Signed license contract with Texas Instruments for the production of common modules

1976 Started with first major Research & Development contract and a new team of international experts in HN