The success of uncooled IR imaging at Raytheon has awakened a new view of the potential of thermal imaging. Once relegated to only expensive military platforms, occasionally to civilian platforms, and envisioned for individual soldiers, thermal imaging is now affordable for police cars, commercial surveillance, driving aids, and a variety of other industrial and consumer applications. System prices are as low as $8000, and swelling production volume will soon drive prices substantially lower. The impetus for further development is performance. The hybrid barium strontium titanate (BST) detectors currently in production have limited potential for improved sensitivity, and their MTF is suppressed at high frequencies. Microbolometer arrays in development at Raytheon have demonstrated performance superior to hybrid detectors. However, microbolometer technology lacks a mature, low-cost system technology and an abundance of deployable system implementations. Thin-film ferroelectric (TFFE) detectors have all the performance potential of microbolometers, and arguably more. They are also compatible with numerous fielded and planned system implementations. Like a microbolometer, the TFFE detector is monolithic; i.e., the detector material is deposited directly on the readout IC rather than being bump bonded to it. Initial imaging arrays of 240 X 320 pixels have been produced, demonstrating the feasibility of the technology.© (1998) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.