Results for 2013 and Predicted Growth through 2018
The Latest DoD SBIR Solicitations
Next-generation cooled FPA Development in the U.S.
But Uncertainty Clouds the Future
U.S. Also Proposing Easier Export Controls for Thermal Imagers in Two Application Areas
Leveling the Playing Field for U.S. Manufacturers
“UTIC” Rule Being Finalized
Measures Performance Against New NFPA Draft Standard and Comes Up with a Few Surprises
The 2-day IDGA Night Vision Conference at the end of July includes a number of high-level presentations
World commercial and dual-use infrared imaging markets soared by 30% in 2007.
SPIE’s Infrared Technology and Applications XXXIV Conference – a part of SPIE’s Defense & Security Symposium - will feature the latest developments in IR technology and sensor systems. The four day conference, with concurrently running sessions on Monday and Tuesday, will be held from March 17 to 20 at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.
The world military infrared systems market grew at a blazing growth rate in 2006.
The Defense Advancement Research Projects Agency, DARPA is soliciting a wide range of new research projects for its Microsystems Technology Office (MTO). Infrared technologies play an important part.
The Government of Canada is seeking information (price and availability) for the purchase of approximately 1000 Thermal Weapon Sights for the Canadian Army. The sights must be Military Off-the Shelf (MOTS) items.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) plans to start a number of infrared programs in fiscal 2008 (starting October 1st).
SPIE’s Infrared Technology and Applications XXXIII Conference – a part of SPIE’s DSS - Defense & Security Symposium - will feature the latest developments in IR technology and sensor systems. The five day conference will be held from April 9 to April 13 at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.
The success of the U.S. Thermal Weapon Sight II program with uncooled VOx microbolometers is leading to a follow-on procurement which is being referred to as “TWS II Bridge.” This program is intended to bridge the gap between TWS II and a future TWS III which is expected to include significant technology improvements.
The combined world commercial and dual-use infrared imaging and spot infrared thermometry market grew at a blistering nearly 20% pace in 2006.
Israel is changing its export control policies and will adhere to the Wassenaar Arrangement’s Control Lists for both Munitions items and for Dual-Use items. According to the Wassenaar agreements, dual-use products go through a licensing procedure that is usually administered by a commerce department or ministry.
Several recent provisions in the Wassenaar List of Dual-Use infrared equipment must be renewed or they will expire at the end of this year. The most important of these refer to the control of uncooled amorphous silicon microbolometers.
The Image Fusion 2007 conference to be held between January 22 and 24 in Alexandria, Virginia is expected to cover a wide range of topics that are increasingly important for a wide number of applications.
DARPA is seeking to push uncooled sensor technology to new limits. In the new Micro-Sensors for Imaging (MISI) program, DARPA wants contractors to develop ultra-small sensors for two applications.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s fiscal year 2006 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) awards are expected to start being issued in October. The late start in making the awards under the $540 million FY2006 AFG program has resulted in some hesitation on the part of local fire departments to purchase thermal imagers while they waited for the outcome of the grant awards.
The use of infrared cameras by firefighters has been growing at double digit rates. In fact, the rate at which new technologies are being incorporated into these cameras may affect firefighter safety.
The combined world commercial and dual-use infrared imaging and spot infrared thermometry market is growing rapidly. Uncooled infrared focal plane array technology used in a broad range of applications continues to be the major driving factor.
SPIE’s Infrared Technology and Applications XXXII Conference – a part of SPIE’s DSS - Defense & Security Symposium - will feature the latest developments in IR technology and sensor systems. The five day conference will be held from April 17 to April 21 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, Orlando, Florida.
The first “Special Comprehensive License” (SCL) for exporting thermal imaging cameras has been granted by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The four-year license is for shipments of predictive maintenance cameras based on 160 x 120 pixel uncooled microbolometers to European Union countries.
The UK MoD has launched the next phase of Albion, its Third Generation Thermal Imaging program, by awarding an £8.1 million (ca. $14 million) two-year contract to a team led by SELEX Sensors & Airborne Systems. Other team members include SELEX S&AS, which will carry out the detector material development work, QinetiQ and Thales UK.
Max-Viz’ has obtained the first FAA certification for a pilot’s Enhanced Vision System on a full-size transport aircraft. The EVS-2500 dual-band system has been certified for use on Boeing 767 -200, -300, -300 Freighter and -400ER series aircraft.
World military infrared markets took are changing dramatically with several major uncooled procurement programs in place.
Cedip Infrared Systems has acquired PolyTech AB - a manufacturer of gyro-stabilized airborne systems. The acquisition provides Cedip with a product line that is highly complimentary to the French company’s infrared cameras and systems.
FLIR Systems has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Scientific Materials, a supplier of lasers, laser components and laser materials for $13 million in cash. The company’s products fit well with both FLIR Systems’ commercial and military product lines.
CMC Electronics has received certification for two models of its aircraft Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS). The Bombardier EVS (BEVS) - which contains the CMC SureSight® I-Series™ cooled sensor and a Thales Head-Up Flight Display System - has been certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for use on the Bombardier Global Express family of business jets.
Multispectral Imaging, Inc., MII has obtained a $4.65 million venture capital investment to continue development of its uncooled microcantilever infrared FPAs, produce prototypes for customer evaluation and support pilot production.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing to receive applications for Phase II of the Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program (CEDAP) - under which smaller jurisdictions and eligible metropolitan areas are awarded equipment directly instead of through grants or funding.
Northrop Grumman Electro-Optical Systems is developing a Digitally-fused Fire Control Unit (DFCU) for crew-served weapons under a multi-million dollar program funded by the Night Vision & Electronics Sensors Directorate.
DRS Technologies has won a major Marine Corps contract to deliver the handheld Thermal Binocular System (TBS) uncooled Tactical-Range Thermal Imager (TRTI) for long-range observation and reconnaissance applications.
Semi-Conductor Devices, SCD has further improved its VOx microbolometers.
FLIR Systems has formed a strategic alliance with Pelco, the world’s largest video security equipment manufacturer. The two companies will develop a series of new thermal and video security surveillance systems.
The Shephard Night Vision conference in Baltimore at the beginning of October provided the usual mix of capabilities and operational experience. Ed Bair, PEO, Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors in the U.S. Army, emphasized the value of infrared in the Iraq conflict.
The United Kingdom’s Surveillance System and Range Finding (SSARF) program has passed Initial Gate and is now passing into an Assessment Phase. The program is intended to provide British soldiers with 940 integrated handheld/tripod-mounted battlefield surveillance systems.
DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) has awarded over $4 million in contracts for the Visible / Short Wave Infrared-Photon Counting Arrays (PCAR) program. The goal is to develop large format, high resolution imaging sensors that operate at extremely low levels of illumination and require ultra-low-noise photon counting techniques.
Cedip Infrared has been selected by EADS and DGA to supply the infrared cameras for the French DRAC (Drone de Reconnaissance Au Contact), a real-time tactical UAV system. Each DRAC system consists of two mini-UAVs, each of which has a day/night payload.
Goodrich Corp. and Sensors Unlimited, Inc. (SUI) have signed a definitive agreement under which the latter has agreed to acquire SUI for $60 million. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2005, after obtaining regulatory approvals.
Fluke Corp. is acquiring Infrared Solutions. The move is another step in the consolidation of the infrared industry as large public companies buy privately-held start-ups.
In a significant breakthrough, AIM Infrarot-Module has fabricated two-color superlattice (SL) FPAs.
Raytheon has been awarded $17 million for 15 RAID (Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment) systems to support Operation Eagle Eye.
The U.S. Navy has selected Northrop Grumman to develop the Shipboard Protection System (SPS), a system intended to protect virtually all types of naval vessels from asymmetric terrorist threats while at a dock, at anchor or during restricted maneuvering. The system will integrate visible and infrared imagers with radar to provide constant 360 degree situational awareness.
DRS Technologies, Inc. and Engineered Support Systems, Inc. (ESSI) have signed a definitive agreement for DRS to acquire all of the outstanding stock of ESSI for $43 per share through a combination of cash and DRS common stock. ESSI, a public company trading on NASDAQ, focuses mainly on services and integrated electronics that it supplies to its military customers.
SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems (SELEX S&AS) has signed an exclusive agreement with Rafael of Israel to manufacture and market their Overhead Weapon Stations (OWS) for the UK defense market. The OWS range includes the Enforcer system, which is to be fitted to BAE Systems’ Panther vehicle.
The U.S. Army has selected the supplier of the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH), a new low-cost solution after the cancellation of the Comanche helicopter program in 2004. ARH will replace the aging OH-58D Kiowa Warrior.
The UK MOD has awarded Thales UK a £700 million contract to develop the Watchkeeper battlefield surveillance UAV. Thales is partnering with Elbit and the two companies will form a joint venture company in Leicester in order to manufacture the airframe (which is based on Elbit Silver Arrow’s Hermes 450.
The first “Special Comprehensive License” (SCL) for exporting thermal imaging cameras is currently moving through the export control process at the U.S. Department of Commerce. The move is significant since such a license would allow a manufacturer of infrared cameras to receive blanket approval for shipments to a list of approved distributors without having to first certify the end-user.
Two individuals involved with Night Vision Technology Corp. will face trial in October for signing contracts with Chinese military agencies to transfer U.S. infrared technology. The two, Martin Shih, a Taiwanese-Canadian and president of the company, and Dr. Philip Cheng, a Taiwanese-American consultant are accused of signing contracts to provide high-tech equipment and consulting for the mass production of thermal imaging cameras.
The Lead Systems Integrators (Boeing and SAIC) for Future Combat Systems are announcing Business Opportunities in several Technology Areas of Interest.
The U.S. Army has awarded General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI), a $214 million System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract to develop its next generation tactical UAV. The Extended Range Multi purpose (ERMP) UAV (called Warrior) is based on a derivative of the Predator UAV.
Northrop Grumman’s Counter MANPADS system for protecting commercial airliners from shoulder-launched missiles is beginning flight tests after three critical design reviews by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The system, dubbed Guardian™, is based on the company’s military Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) system.
An Industry Day will be held later this year for the Future Combat Systems (FCS) Class I UAV Imaging Payload. The Class I Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) provides the dismounted soldier Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA).
The SMaRTS (Soldier Mobility and Rifle Targeting System.) being developed by Rockwell Collins’ Kaiser Electro-Optics unit has been upgraded to a fused IR and I2 (image intensifier) sensor. SMaRTS is intended to provide Special Forces units with several unique capabilities.
L-3 Cincinnati Electronics, L-3 CE is working with the Army Research Laboratory, ARL to develop advanced QWIPs (Quantum Well Infrared Photodetectors). Under a program funded by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), L-3 CE is developing advanced QWIPs based on the Corrugated-QWIP (C-QWIP) structure developed by researchers at ARL.
BMW has officially announced the introduction of its thermal imaging Night Vision system for the BMW-7 series luxury cars starting in the fourth quarter of 2005. The “BMW Night Vision” system is made by Autoliv in a facility in Goleta, California that is adjacent to Indigo.
The U.S. Army’s Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD) is preparing to test the first 3rd Generation infrared FPAs at the systems level.
Test marketing of uncooled infrared cameras at new low-price points is picking up. Since early this year, FLIR Systems has been selling a handheld camera called InfraCAM™ on a dedicated website in Sweden.
On July 15, 2005, the U.S. published new export regulations covering uncooled focal plane arrays based on decisions reached by the Wassenaar Working Group. The new regulations address the loophole under which amorphous silicon FPAs did not require export licensing because they fell under an exemption as “silicon based”.
Obzerv Technologies has received an order from the French Army to deliver one of its ATV2000i range-gated night vision cameras.
Mercedes-Benz is introducing an active driver’s night vision system on its flagship S-series 2006-year models.
BAE Systems in North America is reorganizing after acquiring United Defense Industries (UDI) for $4.2 billion.
Almost two years after the investors in Sarcon Microsystems pulled the plug, uncooled microcantilever technology is again attracting attention. Multispectral Imaging Inc. (MII) has just negotiated an exclusive worldwide license with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for its patents involving the use of microcantilever sensors for infrared imaging.
The U.S. Army is preparing to start development of a Distributed Aperture System (DAS) to provide the drivers and crew members of armored vehicles with unprecedented situational awareness. A draft BAA has been issued.
American HealthChoice, Inc. has signed a letter of intent to acquire Micro Health Systems Inc. (MHS). MHS provides medical infrared systems for diagnostic screening for breast cancer.
Two companies with novel uncooled infrared technologies are hoping to jump on the bandwagon for low-cost thermal sensors. Although the two technologies are very different, they are similar in that they both rely on an effective conversion from infrared images to visible images that are then read out by means of a simple CCD or CMOS imaging array.
Aegis Semiconductor is spinning off its uncooled FPA technology to a new company called RedShift Systems, Inc.
Rheinmetall has bought the 50% ownership stake in AIM Infrarot-Module that had been held by DaimlerChrysler. The other 50% stake continues to be held by Diehl BGT Defence.
The Joint Common Missile (JCM) - an advanced missile with tri-mode-seeker being developed as a replacement for the air-to-ground Maverick, Longbow Hellfire and Hellfire missiles - continues its tenuous grip on government purse strings. After the JCM program was not included in the President’s FY06 defense budget, it appeared that the program was doomed to follow other cancelled missile programs.
Lockheed Martin’s Arrowhead™ targeting and piloting system has been selected to upgrade the United Kingdom's Apache AH Mk I helicopters in a $212 million program. Arrowhead™ is the U.S. Army's Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) program.
Raytheon Space & Airborne Systems has been awarded a $16.5 million contract to provide the electro-optic/infrared/laser designator (EO/IR/LD) payload for use on the Army's Extended Range Multi-Purpose (ERMP) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
L-3 Communications has acquired InfraredVision Technology Corp., ITC and Sonoma Design Group.
ITT Industries Night Vision has been awarded a Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract to produce the U.S. Army’s Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG).
ISG Thermal Systems, Inc. and L-3 Communications’ New InfraredVision Technology Corp. (ITC) unit have signed a multi-year agreement.
A Working Group of the Wassenaar group of countries has reached agreement to control amorphous silicon microbolometers and cameras as dual-use items. The next step is to initiate a three week “silence procedure” starting on April 29. If no objections are received from member countries, the new control language will become effective.
Fluke and Raytek (a Fluke company) are re-branding some of their infrared products in an attempt to make more use of the extensive Fluke sales channels. The first such re-branding is to rename the Raytek Ti 30 Thermal Imager to be the Fluke Ti 30 Thermal Imager.
Alliant Techsystems has delivered the first six prototype XM25 advanced air-bursting weapon systems to the U.S. Army for field-testing. The XM25 fires a High Explosive (HE), air bursting 25 mm round capable of defeating an enemy behind a wall, inside a building or in a foxhole.
A new capability for aircraft flying in poor visibility is being flight tested on a Boeing-727 aircraft. The system is a combination of Synthetic Vision (SV) based on a digital database of ground terrain and an Enhanced Vision System (EVS) based on passive infrared imaging.
Axsys Technologies has acquired Diversified Optical Products, Inc., DIOP for $60 million in cash.
The European Commission has given its approval to an agreement between BAE Systems and Finmeccanica in which the British company essentially withdraws from its UK-based electro-optical sensor business. Under the agreement the two companies have agreed that BAE Systems Avionics and Finmeccanica’s Galileo Avionica SpA will be merged into a new company 75% owned by Finmeccanica and 15% by BAE Systems.
The Jigsaw program to develop a target identification system based on 3-D imaging laser radar (ladar) technology is moving into Phase IIIB. The system is intended to provide multiple views of a target from UAVs and identify targets even when highly obscured.
Uncooled focal plane arrays have mostly been optimized for the long-wave infrared spectrum (LWIR). The reason has mainly been the larger number of LWIR photons available from scenes at ambient temperatures.
Opgal and Bullard are partnering on a new handheld security camera.
Northrop Grumman’s Fused Multispectral Weapon Sight (FMWS), which digitally fuses imagery from an uncooled VOx microbolometer and a Gen III image intensifier (I2), has undergone initial evaluation testing at the Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (Ft. Belvoir, Virginia).
The President’s fiscal 2006 defense budget requests $419 billion, a 5% increase over fiscal 2005. The effect on infrared programs varies from program to program.
Semi Conductor Devices, SCD, is planning to unveil the first member of its new uncooled product line at the SPIE Defense & Security symposium at the end of March.
An interfacing standard for uncooled modules has been adopted by the Motion Imagery Standards Board (MISB), a standards board of the Department of Defense. The “Uncooled B-Kit Interface Control Document” (ICD) which was prepared by Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD) with input from industry specifies the details of the mechanical, optical and electrical interfaces of standard modules called “B-Kits” that makes use of uncooled focal plane arrays.
A detailed study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) comparing passive Thermal IR and reflective Near-IR (NIR) driver’s night vision systems has concluded that passive thermal IR is superior for pedestrian detection. To compare the two technologies, researchers equipped a test vehicle with both Thermal IR and NIR night vision systems.
BAE Systems is preparing to ship uncooled Driver’s Night Vision Systems (DNVS2) for the Terrier Combat Engineer vehicle. Each Terrier will have three cameras: infrared cameras on the front and side and a visible camera used for backing up.
Northrop Grumman expects to flight test its commercial aircraft protection system in flight tests on a Boeing 747 and MD-11 later this year. The company’s anti-missile system, called Guardian, is based on the company’s Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) system which is used on military aircraft and has been proven effective against ground-based shoulder-fired missiles.
Spectral Dimensions has developed an infrared chemical imaging system that can be used as a process monitoring tool in pharmaceutical manufacturing. The company’s Blend Monitor is intended for use with the large blenders used by the pharmaceutical industry to mix the dry powder ingredients that are subsequently pressed into tablets.
The Army is deploying 35 Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) to Iraq for mounting on the M1117 up-armored HMMWV.
SPIE’s Infrared Technology and Applications XXXI Conference – a part of SPIE’s DSS - Defense & Security Symposium - will feature the latest developments in IR technology and sensor systems.
Gulfstream has received validation of its long-range Gulfstream G500 business jet from both the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA). The validation enables the G500 to be certified and registered in the 25 European nations that comprise JAA.
Global Hawk, the most advanced high-endurance UAV, is about to be equipped with an enhanced suite of sensors. The Integrated Sensor Suite (ISS) is being upgraded to the Enhanced Integrated Sensor Suite (EISS).
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) processed 313 grants totaling $31 million during the month of January 2005 under the fiscal year 2004 Assistance to Firefighters program. The FY2004 program has so far funded over 1000 thermal imagers for firefighters.
The Wassenaar group of countries has agreed to a tentative change of export controls as applied to infrared detectors and cameras. According to the latest changes, microbolometers and microbolometer-based cameras (regardless of type) are included in the List of Dual-Use Goods and Technologies.
The combined world commercial and dual-use infrared imaging and spot infrared thermometry market is expected to grow at a rate of 16% over the next five years. Uncooled infrared focal plane array technology used in a broad range of applications continues to be the major driving factor.
DRS Technologies has acquired Night Vision Equipment Corp., NVEC, for $42.5 million plus additional consideration if certain revenue targets are met. NVEC specializes in the rapid development and delivery of lightweight, affordable image intensification (I2) night vision, uncooled thermal imaging, reflective combat identification and laser-based products for U.S. and international militaries and paramilitary organizations.
Digital Infrared Imaging has been selected to provide infrared camera systems to provide perimeter security and surveillance at the Port of Beaumont in Texas.
United Defense Industries has developed a Close-in Counter Measure (CICM) active protection system to intercept incoming Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs). The system has been tested at the U.S. Army’s Redstone Technical Test Center.
United Defense Industries Industries is teaming with its Bofors Defence AB unit and GIAT Industries to offer the 155-mm BONUS precision munition to the U.S. artillery market. The spin-stabilized projectile dispenses two Sensor Fuzed Munition (SFM) submunitions that can attack tanks and armored vehicles.
JenOptik Laser Optik Systeme is partnering with Infrared Solutions in the distribution of infrared cameras for the U.S. market.
L-3 Communications has acquired Raytheon Commercial Infrared, RCI, and renamed it L-3 Infrared Products.
Semi Conductor Devices, SCD, is preparing to enter the market for uncooled VOx microbolometers.
Aegis Semiconductor is developing a new type of uncooled LWIR infrared focal plane array (FPA) based on an array of thermally tunable thin-film near-infrared (NIR) optical filters. As thermal radiation is absorbed in each pixel and its temperature varies, the peak of the NIR passband of the filter is shifted.
Mitsubishi Electric has succeeded in pushing its SOI (silicon-on-insulator) uncooled FPA technology to new levels of performance.
Image Fusion 2005 is a conference that will cover a technology that will be a part of most future systems.
General Motors has discontinued offering a Night Vision system on 2005 Cadillac DeVilles. The system which has been made by Raytheon Commercial Infrared (now L-3 Infrared Products) was the first automotive night vision system to be introduced.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Medical Imaging and Thermocore Medical Imaging have formed an agreement under which the former has acquired worldwide rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize Thermocore’s proprietary intracoronary thermographic catheter system which is designed to detect vulnerable plaque by mapping temperature variations inside the coronary arteries.
The French infrared laboratory LETI/LIR has developed its first uncooled 320 x 240 amorphous silicon (a-Si) microbolometer with 25 µm pixels.
A digital fused weapon sight based on an uncooled VOx microbolometer and a Gen III image intensifier will undergo customer testing starting in November.
Thales Research & Technology, TRT, is preparing to move 640 x 512 pixel QWIPs into production. Researchers have already acquired dedicated production equipment for each process step and will move into new facilities (which will be shared with Alcatel in Palaiseau) in the second half of 2005.
The 2005 French Defense budget will include an order for 1,089 FELIN future infantry networked soldier systems. The FELIN systems will include uncooled infrared FPA-based weapon sights and a thermal goggle.
The U.S. Commerce Department processed a record number of export licenses for thermal imaging cameras during Fiscal 2004.
BAE Systems Avionics has become the European camera distributor for BAE Systems IR Imaging Systems line of uncooled VOx microbolometer cameras and modules.
Emerson Process Management CSI is making good use of two U.S. infrared patents issued in the mid 1990s. The company is pursuing companies for licenses in a broad range of applications involving infrared cameras.
Sensors Unlimited has found some machine vision applications that are uniquely suited to shortwave infrared (SWIR) cameras.
Umicore, the large Europe-based metals and materials group, is in the final stages of completing a new 10,000 square foot molded infrared glass lens production facility in the U.S. The factory will have a production capacity of 100,000 units and expects to start shipping product in early 2005. The chalcogenide lenses are intended as a low-cost replacement for germanium lenses in high-volume infrared applications.
AEG Infrarot-Module, AIM, has been selected by the German Army to supply the HuntIR thermal weapon sight for Germany’s Infantryman of the Future (Infanterist der Zukunft, IdZ) program. Competition for the program was hotly contested and the German Army evaluated many different sights in an effort to meet the German Infantry requirements which emphasize the role of 10 soldier squads having a variety of equipment and missions.
Start-up Bridge Semiconductor is developing low-cost 160 x 120 uncooled FPAs based on pyroelectric PVDF thin films deposited on conventional microbridges. The company is relying on a Direct Digital Signal Conditioning™ (DDSC) technology which the company says is 1000 times more sensitive than existing circuits and produces a digital output at each pixel.
The Shephard Night Vision Conference (October 13-14) is covering applications of all of the night vision technologies: image intensifiers, thermal imagers and millimeter-wave imaging. The keynote address is being presented by Dr. Fenner Milton, Director of the U.S. Army Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate.
Indigo Systems (a division of FLIR Systems) and FLIR Systems are deep in engineering work to change all of the company’s uncooled infrared cameras to Indigo camera cores.
Raytheon Commercial Infrared, RCI, is launching a new camera core based on a new small-pixel (30µm pitch) 160 x 120 amorphous silicon (a-Si) microbolometer.
Honda is introducing an Intelligent Night Vision System that will be available on the Honda Legend in Japan this Fall.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has selected two industry teams to begin the Systems Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of a commercial aircraft anti-missile system.
In the intensely competitive market for thermal imagers in fire fighting, two companies, Bullard and MSA, have decided to change the suppliers for the camera cores used in their infrared cameras.
Obzerv Technologies’ Active Range-Gated Television (ARGTV) system has passed acceptance tests by the U.S. Navy. The final part of the tests involved reading 15-inch (38.1 cm) high letters at 3 miles (4.8 km), in 80% relative humidity and total darkness (no moon light).
Subcontracts to develop sensors for the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) are being awarded by Raytheon, the Ground Sensor Integrator (GSI) for FCS.
Infrared Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS) for aircraft pilots are still a novelty but their use is increasing rapidly.
BAE Systems Infrared Imaging Systems has been awarded a contract to supply the first uncooled target acquisition system.
France is preparing to launch a network-centric demonstrator program that will rely strongly on infrared and other sensors and is somewhat analogous to the U.S. Future Combat Systems (FCS).
Thales UK has been selected for the Demonstration and Manufacturing Phases of the UK’s Watchkeeper Tactical UAV system. Watchkeeper will provide the UK armed forces with an Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability and will be a key component of the UK's drive for Network Enabled Capability (NEC).
Missile Warning detectors have typically been UV (ultraviolet) detectors so as to avoid the background and clutter in the infrared. Now the U.S. Air Force is moving to infrared FPAs instead of UV detectors to provide missile warning for its Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) NexGen Missile Warning System.
After long being restricted to U.S. military programs by export controls, VOx microbolometers are now beginning to appear in British military procurements.
A Test Bed for Dual-Band Arrays
L-3 Communications is acquiring two significant IR and EO companies: Cincinnati Electronics and Brashear LP.
More than a year after completing its fab and launching its VOx microbolometers, InfraredVision Technology Corporation, ITC, is starting to get design wins from OEM customers.
Digital Imaging Infrared, DII, has found a good niche in Homeland Security for its infrared cameras.
The award of the contract for development of the XM395 Precision Guided Mortar Munition (PGMM) is being re-opened after a protest.
Lockheed Martin has won the development contract for the Joint Common Missile (JCM), next-generation air-to-ground missile which will be carried by U.S. Army, Navy and Marines rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft. The systems design and development (SDD) contract consists of a 14-month risk reduction phase and a 36-month testing/integration phase to ready the JCM for initial production.
ElOp Electro-Optics Industries Ltd. is forming a joint venture with OHB-System AG.
Type II Superlattice (SL) infrared detectors have long been known to have considerable potential for use over a wide spectral range (3 to 20 µm). However, these detectors have mainly stayed in the laboratory because of difficulties in fabrication and passivation.
The U.S. Army has awarded Boeing a contract for 233 FLIR upgrades for the Avenger mobile air defense system.
Computerized Thermal Imaging Inc. (CTI) has received a Medical Device License from Health Canada to market its Breast Cancer Imaging System (BCS2100) in Canada.
The U.S. Army has asked Raytheon to double its production rates of Thermal Weapon Sights (TWS).
NEC and Mitsubishi Electric have both developed advanced small-pixel uncooled focal plane arrays (FPAs) and are now completing development of large format arrays.
SAGEM has been awarded a contract by the French Ministry of Defense to develop and produce the FELIN future soldier system and is seeking the best solution for the infrared parts of the system.
DRS Technologies has won the sole contract to supply the B-Kit for the Driver’s Vision Enhancer II (DVE II) to the U.S. Army. DVE is an Infrared Imaging viewer for Combat Vehicles (CV) and Tactical Wheel Vehicles (TWV) designed for enhancing vehicle maneuverability during daylight, darkness, adverse weather and dirty battlefield conditions.
The U.S. State Department has filed a Commodity Jurisdiction (CJ) asking that uncooled amorphous silicon (a-Si) FPAs and modules be placed on the Munitions List (USML) rather than be licensed as a dual-use item by the Commerce Department. This move would place strict controls on a-Si modules exported from the United States.
The Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG) program to produce a fused infrared/image intensifier (IR/I2) goggle has moved into a Pre-LRIP (Low Rate Initial Production) phase. The U.S. Army has awarded two separate contracts.
The long-awaited award for Thermal Weapon Sight II has resulted in two equal contracts to BAE Systems and DRS Technology.
QmagiQ has been formed to commercialize the Miniband QWIP technology developed at BAE Systems.
Obzerv Technologies, Inc. is introducing a night vision technology to the commercial market that complements passive infrared imaging.
Infrared Solutions is introducing a new technology platform for uncooled 160 x 120 VOx microbolometers called IR-EX™ that eliminates both the shutter and the thermoelectric (TE) stabilizer.
Rockwell Collins is moving into a number of infrared sensor programs, partly because of its expertise in head-mounted displays. The company is developing several sensor systems for the U.S. Army, including a complete helmet assembly for the Future Force Warrior, FFW (previously called Objective Force Warrior, OFW) program and SMaRTS (Soldier Mobility and Rifle Targeting System.)
Electrophysics is partnering with Nippon Avionics (Avio) of Japan.
Extended Spectral Range and Flexibility
The U.S. is close to imposing unilateral “Anti-Terrorism” (AT) export controls on uncooled amorphous silicon (a-Si) FPAs and cameras.
SPIE’s Infrared Technology and Applications Conference – a part of SPIE’s DSS - Defense & Security Symposium (formerly AeroSense) will feature the latest developments in IR technology and sensor systems.
The President is asking Congress for a core defense budget for fiscal year 2005 of $420 billion (not including a $50 billion supplemental for the war in Iraq.) Although all details of the budget have not yet been released, a number of items give glimpse of the importance that infrared sensors will continue to play in FY05.
BAE Systems has developed a three-dimensional imaging system for long range target identification.
FLIR Systems and Max-Viz have formed a strategic partnership in which FLIR is the exclusive distributor of Max-Viz Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS) used in military and government helicopters worldwide.
The world market for military infrared systems has been analyzed in a new study by Maxtech International. The military infrared market continues to outpace the growth of many countries’ defense budgets because of the increasing use of infrared in modern weapons systems.
Mine Safety Appliances, MSA, has placed another major order for uncooled thermal imaging engines with Indigo Systems.
The UK and France are in the process of signing a Technical Arrangement to carry out a demonstration of a dual-mode (imaging IR and active laser) seeker. The UK will take the lead in the effort.
An infrared aircraft inspection technique developed by Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems has been named “Project of the Year” by the Department of Defense's Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP). The method uses constant surface heating (not flashlamps) to illuminate painted aircraft sections and then views the section with a thermal imaging camera (the company is using an Indigo Merlin InSb camera.)
BAE Systems in the UK has long been frustrated by the strict U.S. export controls that have restricted the use of advanced uncooled VOx microbolometers made by its U.S. unit BAE Systems Infrared Imaging Systems, IRIS. The export restrictions have made the bidding of UK military programs difficult because of the piecemeal way in which export approvals had to be obtained.
India’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) is seeking more night vision equipment. In particular, portable thermal imagers are being sought.
Hymatic has been acquired by Honeywell’s Aerospace business unit in Phoenix, Arizona.
Infrared Components Corp., ICC, has been acquired by a local private investment group and has changed its name to Critical Imaging LLC.
Institut national d'optique, INO, is developing a Thermal Weapon Sight (TWS) based on its 160 x 120 pixel VOx microbolometer (50 µm pixel pitch).
FLIR Systems has completed its acquisition of Indigo Systems after the transaction was granted clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act in December and a recent vote of approval by Indigo’s shareholders.
CEDIP Infrared Systems is working to develop a new kind of infrared camera for the detection of surface cracks in nuclear power plants and aircraft.
The first images from NASA’s Space Infrared Telescope (SIRTF) were presented recently and revealed clear pictures dating back to the origins of the universe. The telescope’s 20 - 180 micrometer spectral response enables it to see through thick space dust.
A Raytheon Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) scored a direct hit on a ballistic missile in space during an Aegis BMD Program flight test off the Hawaiian coast in December. The SM-3 is part of the Lockheed Martin-developed Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has selected three industry teams to develop Infrared Countermeasures (IRCM) systems to protect commercial aircraft from man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS), typically shoulder-fired missiles.
ULIS has entered into a licensing agreement with Honeywell that covers the French company’s manufacture of uncooled microbolometers.
Rockwell Scientific Co. , RSC, is being awarded the contract to supply the very large infrared focal plane arrays (FPAs) for the NIRCam instrument to be flown on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).
The upgrade of the Apache helicopter TADS/PNVS targeting and pilotage systems is moving closer to production.
Infrared Integrated Systems Ltd., IRISYS, has received two separate industry awards for its pyroelectric cameras.
Boeing Phantom Works is carrying out R&D on the Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS) that will be a part of all future aircraft cockpits.
Thermographic Nondestructive Inspection (NDI) has reached new levels of performance according to a recent study carried out by the FAA Airworthiness Assurance Center at Sandia Labs. The study was carried out to evaluate the capabilities of a wide range of NDI methods in detecting flaws in the high strength-to-weight composites used in modern aircraft.
The Logic Behind the Deal
The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) - a highly effective kit that upgrades “dumb” bombs into precision guided bombs - is about to get smarter with the addition of an uncooled infrared terminal seeker.
QinetiQ is developing an ultra-low-cost uncooled microbolometer.
AEG Infrarot-Module, AIM, is expanding from its traditional role as supplier of infrared FPAs and detector dewar assemblies to making complete portable infrared systems. The move was partly spurred by Germany’s Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement (BWB) which wanted higher performance imagers for use by German soldiers.
In the same way that the U.S. is developing its Land Warrior/OFW systems for future infantrymen, several European countries are developing analogous systems.
FedEx Express is planning to install Kollsman infrared Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS) on all of its large Air Transport aircraft.
Raytheon Vision Systems, RVS, is on track for record growth in its infrared business.
Raytheon Commercial Infrared is offering infrared night vision system for the Hummer H2 vehicle.
The U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) lead systems integrators, Boeing and SAIC, have selected the core team of companies that will help to shape the new U.S. fighting force. Infrared sensors will be a key part of FCS.
The U.S. Army recently carried out operational testing of prototype versions of the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG) - a combined image intensifier/uncooled thermal imager - made by three different industry teams. The evaluation at Fort Benning, Georgia involved use of the viewers by soldiers in an operational environment.
Northrop Grumman has tested its new Viper Strike munition by dispensing it from a Hunter UAV.
Sarcon Microsystems is preparing to sell its IP (intellectual property), patents and exclusive license agreements for the uncooled IR microcantilever sensor technology.
DRS Sensors & Targeting Systems is offering customers customized uncooled FPA design and foundry services.
The unique status of export controls on uncooled amorphous silicon (a-Si) focal plane arrays (FPAs) is about to undergo some changes. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has asked for a unilateral control on U.S. exports of a-Si FPA technology.
Sarcon Microsystems is winding down its operations in view of its inability to raise another round of funding.
Raytheon has formed a new unit that combines a number of its electro-optic and infrared technologies.
Sage Technologies Ltd. has agreed to give Morning Pride exclusive distribution rights in the U.S. and Canada to its helmet-mounted thermal imaging systems for use in fire fighting.
Cobham plc has acquired Northrop Grumman’s Litton Life Support business.
NASA's Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) was launched into space on August 25, 2003.
Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control - Dallas has discontinued its development of QWIPs (Quantum Well Infrared Photodetectors).
Small format (160 x 120) VOx microbolometers are making inroads in the fire fighting market.
DRS Technologies has signed a teaming agreement with Digital Imaging Infrared, DII, to jointly produce and market DII’s pan-and-tilt uncooled thermal imaging systems for homeland security applications.
The combined world commercial and dual-use infrared imaging and spot infrared thermometry markets exceeded a level of $1 billion in 2002.
Indigo Systems is ramping up production of its 160 x 120 pixel VOx microbolometers.
Northrop Grumman’s Defensive Systems Division and Israel Aircraft Industries' TAMAM Division (TAMAM) have signed a teaming agreement that will combine their expertise in the design and production of electro-optical (EO) payloads for intelligence, surveillance, targeting and reconnaissance for certain classes of UAVs and other applications.
Irvine Sensors is readying a miniature small pixel microbolometer camera for use in fire fighting applications.
Northrop Grumman’s new Eagle Eyes dual-mode infrared millimeter wave radar (IR/mmW) seeker has successfully detected, tracked and struck a moving multiple rocket launcher during a recent test.
The upcoming Shephard Night Vision USA Conference in Washington, DC will cover a broad range of topics involving the use of image intensifiers and thermal imagers in military and commercial applications. The keynote address on The Night Battle will be presented by Lt. Gen. Michael Hough, Deputy Commandant for Aviation of the US Marine Corps.
A multispectral sight for the future soldier.
New Stryker armored vehicles will be equipped with high performance uncooled VOx microbolometer sights. The Stryker vehicles, which are made by prime contractor, General Dynamics Land Systems, GDLS, are the centerpiece of the U.S. Army’s effort to transform itself into a more agile and deployable force.
The U.S. Army is seeking to define a series of low-power, lightweight, standard uncooled modules. The move comes at a time when dramatic improvements have been made in the performance of uncooled focal plane arrays (FPAs) thus setting the stage for major procurements of uncooled sensor systems across a wide range of military applications.
BAE Systems is seeking to obtain direct cross-border access to the advanced VOx microbolometers made by its U.S. affiliate BAE Systems Infrared Imaging Systems, IRIS.
The Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) seeker is getting a new infrared focal plane array.
Elcan Optical Technologies is starting to move into systems-level infrared products after having long concentrated on optical components.
Sofradir is betting on germanium (Ge) substrates for use with its next-generation MWIR large format mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) FPAs made by Molecular beam Epitaxy (MBE). The company is relying on research carried out by CEA/LETI.
Continuing concerns worldwide about SARS are giving a boost to suppliers of infrared cameras. This is especially so for companies that can ship rapidly with minimal export restrictions.
The market for Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS) for aircraft is becoming more heated as suppliers position themselves to offer products to aircraft manufacturers and to third-party installers.
The Universal Soldier Sensor (USS) is an infrared imager that every soldier could have in his pocket.
Sagem has acquired Leica Vektronix and Leica Technologies, Inc. - the two units of Leica Geosystems that specialize in defense optronics.
The Storm Shadow stand-off missile received its first operational use in Iraq by the UK. Deployed from Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornado GR4 aircraft, Storm Shadow makes use of multiple navigation modes, including a terminal infrared seeker made by BAE SYSTEMS for MBDA.
Judson Technologies - is back to supplying InGaAs detectors. After the company was spun off from PerkinElmer Optoelectronics (formerly EG&G) in 2000, it agreed to a three-year ban on supplying these detectors.
The 2003 Assistance to Firefighters Program will again provide one-year grants directly to fire departments of a state or other local authority.
ULIS has completed the transfer of its uncooled microbolometer production process to its new facility in a building adjacent to its parent company, SOFRADIR. This includes both the front-end processing which had been done at CEA/LETI and the packaging which had been done at SOFRADIR.
Attendees of SPIE’s Infrared Technology & Applications (IRT&A) Conference - which was held in Orlando during the week of April 21 - were treated to a rare glimpse of some of the current and future sensor requirements for U.S. strategic programs, including ballistic missile defense and early warning systems. Dr. Meimei Tidrow of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), who organized the session, provided an overview of MDA sensor technology.
International attention on the SARS virus outbreak has provided a new application for thermal imaging cameras: the monitoring of travelers for any sign of an elevated body temperature. Typically, if a skin temperature over 37.5ºC (99.5ºF) is detected then a follow-up is carried out with a conventional thermometer.
Northrop Grumman’s Electro-Optical Systems business unit plans to consolidate its night vision components manufacturing operations by relocating most of them from its Garland, Texas site to its Tempe, Arizona facility. Most of the consolidation will involve image intensifier-based systems.
DRS Technologies has merged its DRS Sensor Systems unit with the DRS Sensors & Targeting Systems unit into a single corporation.
Indigo Systems has solved the last of its start-up problems and is now in production on its 160 x 120 pixel uncooled VOx microbolometers. The company is currently working off its backlog of Omega cameras which are used in a number of OEM products.
Raytheon Commercial Infrared is offering its NIGHTDRIVER infrared night vision system for the HUMMER H1 vehicle.
Max-Viz’ EVS-1000 infrared Enhanced Vision System (EVS) for aircraft pilots has received FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) certification on the Bombardier Challenger business jet.
Indigo Systems and CMC Electronics Cincinnati have been awarded contracts for System Development and Demonstration (SDD) of the Integrated Detector Assemblies (IDA) for the Distributed Aperture System (DAS) for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The awards were made by Northrop Grumman, the prime contractor for the DAS system.
VistaScape Technology and FLIR Systems have agreed to partner in providing systems to the security market. VistaScape makes a software platform called Security Data Management System (SDMS) that is based on Microsoft NET.
SensArray Infrared has received a new equity investment from Digital Power Capital LLC. In addition, SensArray recently concluded an agreement with BAE SYSTEMS under which BAE took a small equity position in SensArray and provided to SensArray an exclusive license to lead salt focal plane array processing technology for use in commercial applications and in military applications being pursued by BAE SYSTEMS.
Mine Safety Appliances, MSA, is seeking to entice firefighters with a new level of performance in a small format (160 x 120) VOx microbolometer camera.
U.S. Export Controls on infrared technology have become much tougher since September 11. Infrared cameras of all kinds - including ones specifically developed for non-military applications - have come under increasing scrutiny.
InfraRed Integrated Systems Ltd., IRISYS, has introduced a handheld uncooled thermal imager with a record low-price. The company’s new IRI 1011 is being offered for sale with prices starting at $1500.
Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC has begun selling its vehicle-mounted infrared driver’s enhanced vision systems for use on commercial vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances and other specialty rescue vehicles.
Chemical imaging, in which a complete spectrum is acquired at each pixel of a focal plane array, and thus provides chemical information about each spatial point has progressed rapidly. Currently, a new generation of chemical imaging systems is emerging that is compact, rugged and well adapted to process control applications.
The Dual Band Focal Plane Array Manufacturing (DBFM) program is preparing to make Third Generation infrared a reality. Although much R&D has been carried out on large FPAs and dual band operation, this is the first program which has as its objective the establishment of a manufacturing capability for this next-generation technology.
InfraredVision Technology Corporation, ITC, is preparing to unveil its uncooled microbolometers. The company’s ITC-1000 series detector module is being targeted for both imaging and radiometric commercial camera applications.
SPIE’s Infrared Technology and Applications XXIX Conference will feature the latest developments in infrared technology and sensor systems. The Missile Defense Agency has organized a session on Infrared in Strategic Defense.
Two contracts have been awarded by DARPA/Air Force Research Lab to develop a Synthetic Aperture Lidar for Tactical Imaging (SALTI). The objective of the SALTI program is to conduct a proof-of-concept airborne demonstration of a sensor and associated ground data processing which generates high-resolution 2D and 3D imagery combining the interpretability of electro-optics, the long-range day/night access of high-altitude X-band synthetic aperture radar, and the exploitability of 3-dimensional lidar.
Mitsubishi Electric has decided to stop selling all infrared products outside of Japan. The most immediately affected product is the company’s M-700 large format platinum silicide camera.
Northrop Grumman Electro-Optical Systems is developing a new PbSe focal plane array and also a fused multispectral weapon sight.
BAE SYSTEMS has received an order for uncooled ferroelectric infrared modules from Thales Optronics Netherlands for the LION uncooled sights.
BAE SYSTEMS is delivering an uncooled microbolometer-based Unattended Ground Sensor (UGS) to the Army Research Laboratory, ARL.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has completed the 2002 round of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. In all, the agency provided grants totaling more than $334 million in more than 5000 awards.
Four European countries have agreed to develop a next-generation airborne targeting system. The governments of the UK, France, Italy and Spain are jointly launching the Airborne System for Target Recognition (ASTRID) program to be able to deliver improved capability for Laser guided Bombs and other advanced munitions by the end of the decade.
NEC Corp. has licensed Honeywell’s uncooled microbolometer technology for use in two restricted application areas.
A small pyroelectric focal plane array is being used for fingerprint imaging in order to provide security to users of one of the most popular personal digital assistants (PDA).
The U.S. Army recently tested uncooled microbolometer-based Light Thermal Weapon Sights (LTWS) made by two companies.
The U.S. Army recently evaluated prototype versions of the Next Generation Night Vision Goggle (ENVG) - a combined image intensifier/uncooled thermal imager - made by three different industry teams. The evaluation at Fort A.P. Hill involved viewing targets at various distances.
Max-Viz, Inc. has completed a second round of financing totaling $7.8 million. The funds will be used to accelerate the certification of the company’s Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS) for aircraft pilots on additional aircraft and to expand product development.
Raytek, the leading supplier of spot infrared thermometers, is developing a radiometric thermal imaging camera. The camera is based on a 160 x 120 amorphous silicon (a-Si) focal plane array module which has been modified to be radiometric (temperature measuring).
The U.S. Department of Defense is developing a strategy for the acquisition of the Next Generation Missile Warning Subsystem (NexGen MWS) Upgrade to protect against missiles that use infrared seekers. The NexGen MWS Upgrade project seeks to combine the best parts of two aircraft missile warning programs: Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) (whose main sponsor is the U.S. Special Operations Command) and the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM), which is sponsored by the U.S. Air Force.
Researchers at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, JPL are developing a new dual-band QWIP (quantum well infrared photodetector) for use in a special compact FTIR spectrometer.
Raytheon Vision Systems has been awarded a multi-million dollar 24-month contract to produce the world’s largest infrared FPA mosaic for ground based astronomy.
Two years after Finisar Corp. acquired Sensors Unlimited, Inc., SUI for $700 million, the management of SUI is buying back most of the assets of the company for $6.1 million in cash.
The U.S. Army has decided to pursue, separately, the procurements of the Thermal Weapon Sight (TWS) and the Driver’s Vision Enhancer (DVE), as opposed to a Thermal Omnibus II program that includes both systems. The main requirements for each system are spelled out.
DRS Technologies has acquired Nytech Integrated Infrared Systems, Inc., a small privately-held company specializing in uncooled thermal imaging systems for portable weapons, head-mounted devices, hand-held devices and vehicle-mounted sights.
The U.S. Army’s next generation infantry rifle system, OICW (Objective Individual Combat Weapon) has been renamed the XM29 and will use an uncooled microbolometer sight.
Raytheon Infrared Operations (RIO) has been renamed Raytheon Vision Systems (RVS).
EMX Makes Deloitte Touche Technology Fast 500 List
Cessna Aircraft Company plans to offer a Max-Viz Enhanced Vision System (EVS) as an option for its new Citation X and Citation Sovereign business jets.
Sarcon Microsystems has awarded the production contract for its unique microcantilever uncooled focal plane arrays to Sarnoff Corp.
QWIP Technologies (QWIPTECH) has been awarded a contract by DARPA to develop an airborne Infrared Mine Detection System based on dual-color QWIPs.
The French government’s proposed new military procurement budget may give infrared a big boost.
Sensors Unlimited is developing a dual mode SWIR focal plane array for combined imaging and free space optical communications.
Homeland Security for Navy Base
Boeing’s Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) has completed Operational Test and Evaluation (OPEVAL) and become the first missile with operational Automatic Target Acquisition (ATA).
Danaher Corp. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Raytek, the leading supplier of commercial infrared thermometers.
Lexus is introducing the 2003 LX 470 premium luxury utility vehicle with an optional near-infrared (NIR) night vision system.
Researchers at the Nissan Research Center have developed an uncooled thermopile FPA on a CMOS readout.
A team of researchers from Fraunhofer Institute and AEG Infrarot-Module has succeeded in making high-performance large format MWIR QWIPs (quantum infrared photodetectors) as a first step to fabricating dual band arrays.
TRW has been awarded a $2.9 billion contract as prime contractor to build the National Polar-orbiting Operational environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), a next-generation meteorological satellite system, which is being jointly funded by the Department of Commerce, Department of Defense and NASA.
The UK’s FIST (Future Integrated Soldier Technology) program is entering the next phase of development with the award of two “planning phase” contracts.
Thermal Wave Imaging, TWI has developed a new way to visualize and detect material flaws by means of active thermographic nondestructive evaluation (NDE).
More than 3 Gulfstream G-V business jets have now been equipped with infrared Enhanced Vision Systems and have been delivered to customers.
Rainbow Group and FLIR Systems have entered into a preliminary agreement to jointly pursue the manufacturing and marketing of a Wildlife Protection System developed by Rainbow’s InTransTech subsidiary located in Canada. The InTransTech system makes use of infrared cameras based on QWIP (quantum infrared photodetector) FPAs made by Rainbow’s QWIPTECH subsidiary.
The use of infrared imaging to screen the brakes of commercial vehicles (trucks and buses) is starting to be accepted.
TRW was awarded a contract to begin the system design and development of Space-Based Infrared System Low (SIBRS Low), a constellation of operational low-altitude satellites that provides detection and high-accuracy tracking of missiles for missile defense.
The new unit’s name is E2V
More than 750 awards have been made this fiscal year under the Assistance to Firefighters Program. Some of these awards have included thermal imagers.
Thales Optronique has received a contract to provide QWIP-based infrared Gunner’s Sights for the French Army’s new VBCI light armored vehicle.
The Electro-Optics Center is providing a streamlined approach to government-funded R&D in electro-optics technologies.
A MOEMS (Micro-Opto-Electro-Mechanical Systems) Consortium has been formed in Israel to focus on uncooled infrared and other MOEMS technologies.
CardioOptics has raised $3 million in a first round of financing. The company is developing “Trans-Blood Vision™” technology, which is based on the fact that blood is virtually transparent at near infrared wavelengths of 1.8 microns.
Thales is emerging as a QWIP FPA supplier for production programs. The QWIP technology developed at Thales Research & Technology is being transferred into production at one of the company’s other units.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has scheduled a Radiological Devices Panel review of Computerized Thermal Imaging’s (CTI) thermal breast imaging system which is intended to be used as an aid in the diagnosis of breast cancer.
Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract to develop a Wide Area Nondestructive Inspection Imaging (NDI) technology for inspecting aircraft for corrosion under paint.
A group at Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control-Dallas has demonstrated a quantum efficiency of 57% with their E-QWIP (Enhanced Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector).
VistaScape Technology, a provider of integrated security and surveillance management software, has raised $4.1 million in funding.
Researchers at Procter & Gamble (P&G) are carrying out studies with FT-IR (Fourier Transform Infrared) Imaging to determine whether imaging infrared spectroscopy can detect early stages of breast cancer.
AEG Infrarot Module, AIM has landed several major infrared detector system contracts.
The Second International Symposium “Shedding New Light on Disease: Optical Diagnostics for the New Millennium” was held in Reims, France between June 23 and 27.
ART Advanced Research Technologies Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Infrared Screening and Inspection Solutions (ISIS®) division to Photon Dynamics, Inc. (Nasdaq NM: PHTN) for $5.5 million in cash. The ISIS systems are used to inspect populated printed wiring assemblies (PWAs) for hot spots.
DARPA’s Jigsaw project to develop an advanced three-dimensional sensor capability for the U.S. Army’s Future Combat System (FCS) is moving into Phase II.
U.S. exporters of infrared imaging cameras have formed a trade group to promote streamlined export policy guidelines. The new organization, named American Council for Thermal Imaging (ACTI), was formed in Washington, DC in May.
The U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is sponsoring a highly leveraged study to determine the efficacy of infrared imaging in the diagnosis of breast cancer. The study, which is being organized by Advanced Concepts Analysis, Inc., seeks to leverage existing infrared equipment and medical teams which are already using infrared as an adjunct in the diagnosis of breast cancer
SPIE’s Infrared Technology and Applications XXVIII Conference will feature the latest developments in infrared technology and sensors.
The Defense Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is seeking to make another major leap in infrared focal plane array technology. Under the new Adaptive Focal Plane Array program, DARPA is seeking innovative research that will enable revolutionary advances in infrared imaging and sensing.
The U.S. Army’s upcoming Thermal Omnibus II program - under which the Army will procure large numbers of uncooled infrared systems - is changing as the time approaches for the final RFP.
ICAR (Infrared Camera for cAR) is a pan-European project to develop a driver’s vision enhancement system.
The landscape after 9/11.
Two Chinese companies have entered the commercial infrared imaging market with cameras for fire fighting, predictive maintenance and surveillance.
AEG Infrarot Module, AIM is positioning itself for 3rd generation infrared FPAs. Although the definition of third generation is still evolving, it will certainly include large multicolor arrays.
SBIRS Low (Space Based Infrared Systems Low) has been restructured. TRW has now been named the prime contractor for the space-based missile tracking system.
FLIR Systems is introducing a new line of infrared cameras for condition monitoring. In the process, the company is pushing prices for this type of camera into previously uncharted territory.
Mikron Instrument is partnering with Infrared Identification, Inc., IRID in order to develop and market infrared face recognition technology.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes has outfitted its Technology Demonstrator Airplane with infrared Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS) made by two different suppliers.
Rockwell Scientific Company’s (RSC) imaging group (RSC Imaging Sensors) is expanding from its traditional concentration on infrared focal plane array (FPA) development and fabrication to infrared modules, subsystems and even complete camera systems
Equinox Corp. is building a database of human faces acquired with cameras with responses ranging from the visible to the long-wave infrared
How will it affect infrared?
SOFRADIR has officially launched its subsidiary for the production of uncooled FPAs and modules based on technology developed at the LETI/LIR laboratories of CEA (The French Atomic Energy agency).
Initial results of uncooled microbolometer fabrication at Indigo Systems’ newly completed clean room indicate high performance focal plane arrays
A U.S. Navy/Raytheon team has successfully completed the second free-flight demonstration of the unitary warhead variant of the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW), which uses an uncooled infrared seeker.
InfraredVision Technologies, ITC has obtained the first and only “technology and field of use” expanded license for uncooled microbolometer technology from Honeywell.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program has been appropriated $360 million for fiscal 2002 and applications (preferably on-line) are being accepted between March 1 and April 1.
BAE has received an order for another 1000 uncooled infrared modules from Thales Optronics Netherlands for the LION uncooled sights.
Volvo has became the second car manufacturer to introduce a driver’s night vision system for passenger cars.
SensArray Infrared Corp. is acquiring the Textron Systems commercial lead salt detector business, including both PbS (1 - 3 µm) and PbSe (3 - 5 µm) detectors and arrays.
Researchers at Raytheon have achieved dramatic new results with uncooled thin film ferroelectric (TFFE) focal plane arrays.
The Missile Defense Agency (formerly BMDO) and the Navy have conducted a successful flight test of a Sea-Based Midcourse (SMD) Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) on January 25
The U.S. Army’s COMBATT (Commercially Based Tactical Truck) Program has been looking to find a cost-effective replacement for its aging HMMWV light tactical vehicles.
Uncooled FPAs have long been considered as highly desirable low-cost sensors for a variety of relatively undemanding military applications, such as Driver’s Night Vision systems.
The German company Knorr-Bremse has acquired Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems from Honeywell International
Diversified Optical Products, Inc., DIOP has acquired Cairns Advanced Technologies LLC and expects to move the company from New Jersey to New Hampshire
The terrorist acts of September 11 and the consequent U.S. response have led to times of uncertainty for U.S. exporters of uncooled infrared cameras
BAE Systems IR Imaging Systems, IRIS has completed qualification testing of its Lightweight Thermal Weapon Sight (LTWS) and the test results have been reviewed and accepted by the U.S. Army Communications - Electronics Command (CECOM)
In the midst of Department of Defense (DOD) concern about the transfer of infrared technology into the commercial sector, in December, DOD sponsored a three-day workshop titled “From Tanks to Tumors: A Workshop on the Applications of IR Imaging and Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) Image Processing for Early Detection of Breast Cancer.”
The new name for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) is now the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).
The pan-European missile company MBDA was officially launched on December 19, 2001.
The state of Connecticut has passed a law (SA-01-2) providing $2.6 million in grants for fire departments wishing to buy infrared firefighting equipment
Infrared imaging in medicine may receive new recognition and funding from the newest institute of the National Institutes of Health: the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB
Max-Viz is preparing two new infrared enhanced vision systems (EVS) for aircraft pilots.
Advanced Medical Electronics Corp., AME is developing several products for medical use based on uncooled microbolometers.
The U.S. Army has attempted to control the escalating costs of cooled infrared systems by standardizing basic infrared modules
New York State has passed a law to establish a Thermal Imaging Camera Grant Program within the Office of Fire Prevention and Control
U.S. Department of Defense will start accepting applications for the FY2002 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program starting December 3.
Indigo Systems is partnering with Autoliv Inc. in the development and production of a driver’s night vision system that will be made available to automobile manufacturers.
QWIP Technologies, QWIPTECH, has been awarded a $1.6 million contract by DARPA to develop a 1024 x 1024 pixel multicolor QWIP FPA.
A bigger role for infrared.
DRS Technologies has completed the acquisition of Boeing’s Sensors and Electronics (SES) business for $67 million.
INO (institut national d'optique) has concluded a license agreement with Honeywell, that allows INO to fully use Honeywell’s patents in the field of uncooled microbolometer detectors and associated micro-packaging
BAE Systems Integrated Defense Solutions has been awarded a $3.3 million contract for the Ground Stand-off Minefield Detection System (GSTAMIDS) Block I.
Gulfstream Aerospace - a subsidiary of General Dynamics - has received certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to install its infrared Enhanced Vision System (EVS) on the Gulfstream V ultra-long range business jet
Largest-ever military contract is also expected to be the largest-ever for infrared
IRCON has acquired Lumitron (Louisville, Kentucky) and now operates it as the Lumitron Division
Infrared Imaging News dedicates this issue to the more than 6000 innocent victims of the terrorism at the World Trade Center in New York.
The development of advanced uncooled infrared focal plane arrays (FPAs) has been one of the most dramatic success stories of the infrared industry. However, from the start, uncooled FPAs have been subjected to the same export controls as cooled FPAs.
Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems is introducing the first night vision system designed specifically for commercial trucks and buses.
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, ARL has awarded a team led by BAE Systems a $61 million contract to research advanced sensor technologies
The U.S. Army is in the process of transforming the venerable Night Vision Goggle into a wholly new device.
The Firefighter Investment and Response Enhancement (FIRE) act may not provide as much of a boost to fire fighters’ thermal imaging cameras as previously thought.
Sensytech has received a $2.5 million contract from Amazon Technologies Company for an airborne Hyperspectral Imaging System which is expected to be delivered in 14 months
Santa Barbara Infrared, SBIR, a HEICO Company, has obtained an exclusive license to manufacture Honeywell’s infrared scene projector technology
Northrop Grumman has delivered an initial version of key software system for the U.S. Army's RAH-66 Comanche helicopter
Electrophysics and Raytheon Commercial Infrared have teamed up to develop a radiometric version of Raytheon’s PalmIR 250 Digital Camera
DRS Technologies is buying the Sensors & Electronic Sensors (SES) business of Boeing.
In one of the most hotly contested bids, Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control has won in its bid for the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) with its infrared Sniper XR (eXtended Range) system.
Australia’s Ninox Project which is managed by the Defence Material Organisation is increasingly making use of infrared technology in its Night Fighting and Surveillance systems.
The U.S. Navy has carried out the first live-fire test of the Surveillance Infrared Search and Track (SIRST) sensor on board a Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning and control aircraft
Indigo Systems has completed the installation of equipment in its new clean room and is ready to start making uncooled microbolometers.
CMC Electronics Cincinnati (the new name of Cincinnati Electronics) is planning to move into the market for Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS) for aircraft landing and situational awareness.
The shareholders of SOFRADIR have decided to commercialize the company’s uncooled focal plane array technology through a wholly-owned subsidiary, rather than via a new spin-off company that would have involved outside investors.
The Rockwell Science Center, located in Thousand Oaks, California, has become an independent, privately-held company called Rockwell Scientific Corp.
The upcoming Shephard Night Vision USA Conference in Washington, DC will focus on an overview of both image intensifier and thermal imaging military applications.
Proponents of flexure spring cryocoolers - which rely on fine tolerances and non-contact pistons - have long maintained that they provide the ultimate in long life for Stirling cryocoolers.
The Amended Fiscal Year 2002(FY02) U.S. Defense budget requests a total of $328.9 billion, $18 billion higher than the President’s initial Blueprint DoD budget and $32.6 billion higher than in FY01 (a 7% inflation-adjusted increase)
Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control and Boeing have entered into an agreement to incorporate a large-format staring mid-wave (MW) forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor in the Arrowhead system for the AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter.
Sarcon Microsystems has completed a $7.75 million investment round and intends to plow the proceeds into pilot production of its microcantilever uncooled focal plane array (FPA) technology
The search for low-cost optics for infrared imaging systems is picking up speed. In price sensitive applications, such as automotive night vision, the cost of germanium and conventional grinding/polishing are prohibitive.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that law enforcement agencies must have a search warrant before forming infrared images of homes.
Work by researchers at Fujitsu Laboratories may lead to very high fill factors (FF) in QWIP (quantum well infrared photodetector) FPAs and optimal use of the photosensitive surface.
Raytheon Commercial Infrared is considering moving its automotive Night Vision systems to smaller format FPAs
Researchers at the Middle East Technical University are fabricating small microbolometer FPAs in a further demonstration of worldwide interest in uncooled infrared technology.
AEG Infrarot-Module, AIM is leveraging its work in components, such as focal plane arrays and coolers into providing detector-specific algorithms to support systems solutions
New York State is close to enacting a major bill to assist fire departments in the purchase of infrared fire fighting cameras. Both the Republican-controlled Senate and Democratic-run Assembly have passed a bill that would allow the state to buy the cameras in bulk.
BAE Systems Infra-Red (UK) is moving its uncooled ferroelectric focal plane array (FPA) detector manufacturing from Caswell to Southampton in order to consolidate under one roof both its cooled and uncooled FPA detector fabrication and assembly
AEG Infrarot-Module, AIM has developed a new small 1.5 watt linear Stirling cryocooler that the company believes is ideal for use in the U.S. Army’s SADA I
FLIR Systems has agreed to buy SaabTech Electronics’ Optronics Division for 100,000 shares of FLIR Systems common stock
Alliant Techsystems has reached an agreement with GIWS under which Alliant will manufacture and offer for sale in the U.S. SMArt 155 IR fuzed artillery projectile.
Raytheon Infrared Operations, RIO is filing suit in California’s Superior Court against InfraredVision Technology, ITC and some of its key employees .
The use of the thermoelectric effect for the sensing of the small temperature rise at each element of uncooled thermal detectors is being used in two very different applications.
The UK’s venerable state-run Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) will cease to exist in July.
FLIR Systems and GlaxoSmithKline PLC have agreed to license a novel drug screening technology involving the use of infrared imaging to newly formed Thermogenic Imaging, Inc in exchange for stock in the company.
The shareholders of SOFRADIR are considering whether to establish a separate company for the production of the company’s uncooled focal plane array modules
Northrop Grumman has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Electronics and Information Systems Group of Aerojet-General Corporation for $315 million in cash
High Throughput Screening (HTS) is becoming the preferred method for testing new drugs. The techniques typically use a robot to mix target compounds and test reagents
Simultaneous introduction of FPAs by three groups.
Nikon has discontinued sales of its PtSi-based LAIRD infrared cameras.
Boeing and Lockheed Martin are joining the Spectrum Astro/Northrop Grumman team in vying for the development contract for Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Low
The LETI/LIR laboratory has attained what is believed to be a record level of performance for an uncooled amorphous silicon (a-Si) microbolometer focal plane array.
The U.S. Army is preparing for the next phase in its procurement for uncooled infrared imaging systems. In a recently held Industry Day, the Communications and Electronics Command (CECOM) laid out its expected procurement for Thermal Omnibus II, the second major procurement of uncooled infrared equipment.
The International Maritime Organization, IMO is set to require all High Speed Craft (such as ferries) to have aboard a Night Vision system that meets strict performance and man-machine interface specifications
Hymatic Engineering has recently pushed the operating life of its 500 mW tactical/industrial cryocooler to a new level when the test samples each passed through 50,000 operating hours.
Thales Optronique (Guyancourt, France) is completing development of Damocles, an airborne infrared targeting pod that makes use of staring MWIR mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) focal plane arrays.
ICAR - a European program with industrial partners in several countries - is seeking to develop an infrared camera specifically for automotive applications.
Raytheon Infrared Operations, RIO is positioning itself to become a merchant supplier of infrared engines based on uncooled microbolometers
Cardio-Optics is planning to take maximum advantage of its recently issued patent giving it broad coverage in applications that take advantage of the fact that blood is relatively transparent at certain infrared wavelengths
The Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) has decided to buy only microbolometer-based infrared firefighting cameras.
In December, the U.S. Congress passed the Firefighter Investment and Response Enhancement (FIRE) act which allocates $100 million in fiscal 2001 and $300 million in fiscal 2002 for firefighting equipment, public education and a variety of other programs including fire fighter training.
The U.S. Department of Defense has made its awards for research for fiscal year 2001. Among the awards were several for infrared-related projects
FLIR Systems (North Billerica, Massachusetts) is pushing the lifetime of its “Microcooler” miniature rotary Stirling cryocoolers into new territory.
SPIE’s Infrared Technologies and Applications XXVII Conference will feature the latest developments in infrared technology
Autoliv AB is introducing a new infrared Night Vision system for cars based on an uncooled infrared camera made by FLIR Systems AB
Massachusetts is about to disburse $10 million to towns and local fire districts under the state’s Firefighter Safety Equipment Program which was signed into law last year
FLIR Systems has formed a strategic alliance with Scott Health and Safety a leading manufacturer of life saving equipment for firefighters, for the distribution of its FireFLIR™ helmet mounted thermal imaging system and the development of new thermal imaging products for the firefighting market
While manufacturers of uncooled infrared cameras struggle to achieve prices under $10K, simple active near-infrared (NIR) systems are staking out the low-end
Bullard has completed its $7.5 million contract with the State of New Jersey by shipping about 900 thermal imagers for use in fire departments throughout the state
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has completed a one-year evaluation of an infrared technology for screening commercial motor vehicles (trucks and buses) in real time at the roadside for problematic conditions, primarily malfunctioning brakes
Three years after beginning its ambitious Integrated Surveillance Information System (ISIS) along the southwestern U.S. border, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has completed only about 130 systems
InfraRed Integrated Systems Ltd., IRISYS™ is introducing a low-cost uncooled infrared imager based on a proprietary pyroelectric material
Equinox Corp. a start-up, has received a contract under DARPA to develop systems to detect and recognize humans at distances up to 500 feet (150 m)
SensArray is developing both uncooled lead sulfide (PbS) and lead selenide (PbSe) focal plane arrays (FPAs) using a unique process
Thomson-CSF has changed its name to Thales in order to clearly separate itself from Thomson Multi Media
SMi’s upcoming Enhanced Vision Conference will feature applications of both image intensifier and thermal imaging technology
CEDIP Infrared Systems has been awarded a major contract from the French Atomic Energy Center (CEA) to develop and install sixteen IR cameras for the monitoring of the French Tokamak nuclear fusion reactor located in Cadarache.
Northrop Grumman has agreed to acquire Litton Industries for $3.8 billion. The combined company will have sales of about $15 billion and will be a major defense electro-optics contractor.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Microelectronics Technology Office has awarded $15 million in a number of three-year contracts for the development of Three Dimensional Imaging Sensors that consist of focal plane arrays (FPA), in which each pixel can provide precision range information.
IMEC - the Belgian research center - has spun off the new company XenICs NV in order to commercialize uncooled infrared technologies developed at IMEC.
BAE Systems North America has completed the acquisition of Lockheed Martin’s Aerospace Electronic Systems business, which includes Sanders Fairchild and Space Electronics & Communications
Honeywell Laboratories is developing an ultra-small uncooled IR camera for use on board Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs). Dubbed “FeathIRcam”, the camera is being developed under a DARPA contract
DRS Infrared Technologies has been awarded a $3.9 million contract to develop the 480 x 4 mercury cadmium telluride FPAs for the U.S. Army’s SADA I Standard Advanced Dewar Assemblies
The Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) is preparing to place orders for nearly 400 thermal imaging cameras to be used by the city’s fire fighters.
The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) are jointly funding a $14 million contract to increase the lethality of missiles against agile targets such as cruise missiles and unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs).
DRS Infrared Technologies is carrying out R&D to increase the operating temperature of its mid-wave (MWIR) mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) focal plane arrays in two programs
Raytheon Infrared Operations (RIO) - the former SBRC - has achieved a new record in the performance of an uncooled microbolometer focal plane array
During the last five years, there has been a great deal of work carried out by industry and government research laboratories to try to use infrared imaging for the detection of buried landmines.
The U.S. Army’s AH64 Apache helicopter is finally on track to have its First Generation Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (TADS/PNVS) upgraded to a Second Generation system
Rainbow Group of Companies Inc. has reached an agreement in principle with ViaSpace Technologies, LLC for the purchase of the remaining 60% of the technology rights for the QWIPTECH QWIP technology.
The U.S. Navy’s Fleet Technical Support Center, Pacific (FTSCPAC) recently saved the Navy $2.3 million in avoidance costs with its infrared predictive maintenance inspections of surface ships.
Infrared Components Corp., ICC has signed a joint marketing/sales and manufacturing agreement with Draeger Safety, Inc. under which Draeger will have the exclusive rights to sell and market ICC’s FireOptic™ fire fighting camera in North and South America
Indigo Systems has formed a strategic alliance with Northrop Grumman to supply both cooled and uncooled sensors.
Highlights from the SPIE San Diego Infrared Technology and Applications conference (continued from the September issue)
Indigo Systems is partnering with Nippon Avionics to manufacture and sell the ExplorIR™ uncooled microbolometer camera which had previously been supplied by Raytheon Commercial Infrared
Raytheon Infrared Operations (RIO has developed the first commercially available “smart” focal plane arrays by designing readout ICs (ROICs) that can perform a significant amount of signal processing
Raytheon’s Missile Systems business unit has been awarded an Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract for the TOW Fire & Forget (F&F) anti-tank missile and its imaging infrared seeker.
Honeywell has strengthened its patent position in uncooled microbolometer infrared imaging and is taking an aggressive stance to protect its patent portfolio.
Finisar Corp. (Sunnyvale, California) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Sensors Unlimited (Princeton, New Jersey), the supplier of short wave infrared InGaAs detectors, focal plane arrays and cameras, for approximately $700 million.
New results in uncooled infrared detector technology from around the world,
The next SPIE Infrared Technologies and Applications Conference (April 2001, Orlando) will feature two new sessions
NEC Corporation of Japan has reorganized and moved its uncooled infrared operations.
Boeing has been awarded a $3.8 million, 3-year, contract under DARPA’s latest Uncooled Thermal Imaging Sensors program which aims to increase uncooled infrared FPA performance to its theoretical limits and thus approach that of cooled sensors.
Uncooled infrared focal plane arrays based on Thin Film Ferroelectric (TFFE) technology are facing an increasingly dim future as microbolometer technology races ahead
InfraredVision Technologies Corp. has reached a worldwide license and technology agreement with Honeywell to manufacture and sell uncooled infrared microbolometers based on vanadium oxide.
BAE Systems North America, Inc and Lockheed Martin have reached a definitive agreement under which BAE will acquire Lockheed Martin’s Aerospace Electronics Systems business for $1.67 billion in cash
Research Triangle Institute, RTI has opened a new Advanced Imaging Technology Office for the development of airborne Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS).
Infrared Components Corp., ICC, has delivered the first production unit of a new microbolometer camera with instant-on capability.
Optra is developing a dual-wavelength infrared thermometer for measuring skin temperatures at long-range stand-off distances under a Phase I SBIR contract with the Air Force
Shephard’s Ninth Annual Night Vision Event takes place October 5 - 6, 2000 in London, UK. Specific topics include the Kosovo Experience, Situational Awareness, Solid State verses Tube Technology and AFV and Rotary Sighting Systems.
The first award has been made under DARPA’s latest Uncooled Thermal Imaging Sensors program which aims to increase uncooled infrared FPA performance to its theoretical limits and thus approach that of cooled sensors.
EADS (European Aeronautic, Defense and Space Company), the merger between Germany’s DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (DASA), France’s Aerospatiale Matra and Spain’s Construcciones Aeronauticas SA (CASA) began trading its stock in July.
Shipboard testing of three infrared firefighting cameras has now been completed by the U.S. Navy. All three cameras are expected to be approved for certification for use aboard Navy ships.
Boeing is developing a new system involving visible and infrared cameras for helping Navy pilots in landings on aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships.
Europe’s DARWIN project for developing a fully integrated night vision sensor for passenger cars has moved into the prototype phase.
Infrared Components Corp., ICC, is developing uncooled microbolometer focal plane arrays using amorphous silicon as the resistive layer.
The target date for obtaining FAA certification for the infrared Enhanced Vision System (EVS) for the Gulfstream-V business jet has been pushed to the end of this year due to equipment modification
Northrop Grumman has signed an agreement to acquire Comptek Research (Buffalo, New York) which specializes in electronic warfare simulation and stimulation, threat analysis, mission planning and precision targeting.
COMBATT Program Moves into Phase IIThe U.S. Army’s Program seeks to find a cost-effective replacement for its aging HMMWV light tactical vehicles with a cost-effective alternative.
SPIE’s Infrared Technologies and Applications XXVI Conference - a part of SPIE’s Annual Meeting - will feature several unique sessions that illustrate just how broad international interest in infrared imaging has become
The U.S. Army’s CECOM Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate is setting the stage for the next major fielding of uncooled infrared focal plane array (FPA) technology.
The U.S. Department of Defense has announced awards in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
BAE Systems is expanding its line of infrared focal plane arrays (FPAs) and detector/dewar/cooler assemblies to include mid-format and large-format InSb (indium antimonide) and QWIP (quantum well infrared photodetector) FPAs.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) solicitations have a number of topic areas (shown below together with their topic numbers) of direct interest to infrared.
Irvine Sensors is developing a new IR micro-camera under a $756K DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) contract.
Computerized Thermal Imaging, CTI has acquired Bales Scientific the supplier of the thermal imaging systems used by CTI in its breast cancer diagnosis systems.
Three new driver’s night vision systems are being introduced in the wake of publicity generated by the Night Vision system on General Motors’ 2000 Cadillac DeVille.
Spectral Dimensions (Olney, Maryland) and Nicolet Instrument Corp. are partnering to provide an imaging FTIR system for chemical imaging.
Two out of three infrared fire fighting cameras passed the latest series of tests performed by Quadelta, Inc. for the Navy’s Safety and Survivability Office.
BAE Systems has reorganized its operations in the wake of its acquisition of Marconi Electronic Systems from GEC.
Uncooled infrared focal plane arrays (FPA) made of ferroelectric materials have had great success in the market.
Raytheon is moving its small format (160 x 128) amorphous silicon-based uncooled microbolometer FPA into production.
Judson Optoelectronics (Montgomeryville, PA) has been acquired by Keystone Capital, Inc. (Chicago, IL) in partnership with Judson’s management.
Nytech Integrated Infrared Systems (Irvine, California) has developed a very small, low-power microbolometer module based on the Boeing U3000 320 x 240 uncooled microbolometer FPA.
A fire fighting thermal imager from Bullard has been chosen by the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety as the preferred infrared camera for the state’s fire departments.
The infrared Enhanced Vision System (EVS) for the Gulfstream-V business jet is expected to complete FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) certification flights by the middle of the year.
The Implications for infrared.
Two of the companies pursuing the medical IR market are trying to accelerate their efforts.
Mine Safety Appliances, MSA has acquired I.S.I. Group the developer and supplier of thermal imaging cameras for fire fighting and predictive maintenance.
Rockwell Science Center has completed fabrication of a 2048 x 2048 focal plane array for use in astronomy at the University of Hawaii.
With the awarding of the Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicle (TUAV) contract to AAI Corp., the stage is now set for the first of these aircraft to fly with the Wescam EO/IR system.
The U.S. Air Force is seeking to take a top-down approach to selecting the right infrared imaging systems for troubleshooting temperature anomalies on USAF aircraft.
Lockheed Martin IR Imaging Systems is working on a Dual Use Applications Program (DUAP) with the U.S. Army’s Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate to tailor its uncooled microbolometer focal plane array technology to medical applications.
Infrared Solutions (Minneapolis, Minnesota) is having no problem exporting its IR SnapShot® still camera at a time when cameras containing uncooled microbolometers or ferroelectric focal plane arrays are facing increased export delays.
DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is preparing to create interdisciplinary teams of researchers drawn from the fields of biology, information technology and microsystems technology at institutions of higher learning.
Sarcon Microsystems and Sarnoff Corp. (Princeton, New Jersey) are continuing to develop Sarnoff’s unique uncooled focal plane array which relies on a microcantilever capacitive array based on a bimaterial.
Raytheon’s Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) pod recently had its first successful test flight on an F/A-18 aircraft at China Lake, California.
The latest round of tests on infrared firefighting cameras to qualify them for use on U.S. Navy ships has been completed by Quadelta, Inc. a contractor to the Navy’s Safety and Survivability Office.
The electro-optical (EO) systems on the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) are moving closer to realization as the two aircraft prime contractors
Elbit Systems has completed its acquisition of ElOp Electro-Optics Industries - the first such step toward consolidation in Israel’s defense industry.
AIL Technologies is acquiring EDO Corp. The combined companies will have revenues of $240 million.
The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), which is expected to go into Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) in FY2001, is the Pentagon’s answer to controlling the spiraling costs of military aircraft. JSF will satisfy the needs of the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps with variations on a single design.
Thomson-CSF is buying out its joint venture partner’s (Bombardier, Inc.) interest in Shorts Missile Systems in what could be a move to form a second large missile company in Europe to compete with Matra BAe Dynamics