By Company (DRS)


October 2016

Crew-Served Weapon Sight (FWS-CS) Awards Made to DRS and BAE Systems

Another Step in Ramping up Uncooled Sensors

August 2016

DARPA WIRED Program Aims to Move Infrared Detectors to a New Level

Multi-megapixel infrared imaging at room temperature for wafer-level scalable FPAs at low-cost

July 2016

June 2016

Gas Imaging Using Uncooled FPAs

Imaging of gas leaks (especially of methane, but also of other gases) has traditionally been done with portable infrared cameras based on cooled InSb and QWIP FPAs. In these, either the FPA spectral response is tuned to the absorption wavelength of the gas of interest or a spectral filter is used in front of it. Alternatively, high-end spectrally selective (Fourier Transform Infrared – FTIR) cameras (also based on cooled FPAs) are used to detect gas leaks with high sensitivity, but at a price premium.

 

Now, a new generation of innovative uncooled gas sensors are being developed to not just monitor large gas leaks but also act as monitors for small leaks.

APS Systems: A Future Big Market for Infrared FPAs?

Active Protection Systems (APS) for armored vehicles are becoming a necessity as rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) and anti-armor munitions become more effective against even the best armor. In APS systems an incoming round is detected and tracked and a counter munition is fired to destroy the round before it can damage the vehicle.

In the most recent systems, infrared FPAs are being used.

April 2016

After Long Wait 3rd Gen FLIR Finally Moves Ahead

After numerous delays over a period of ten years, the U.S. Army has finally put 3rd Gen FLIR onto a path where it will become reality. Awards have been made for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) for the 3rd Gen B-kit which will be used to upgrade 2nd Gen B-kits in a number of vehicle sighting systems and in targeting systems. The 3rd Gen B-kit consists of a Dewar Cooler Bench (DCB), afocal imager and circuit card assemblies.

December 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

November 2014

September 2014

June 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

October 2013

FLIR and Fluke Launch New Thermography Cameras

Jockeying for Space at the Low-End

 

September 2013

DARPA PIXNET Program Gets Underway

Ultra-Small Muti-Band Uncooled Camera

August 2013

June 2013

April 2013

March 2013

November 2012

October 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

August 2011

July 2011

DARPA Funding Tiny, Low-Cost Uncooled FPAs and Camera Cores

Pushing Uncooled Infrared Toward a Cell Phone Model

May 2011

April 2011

February 2011

ITT to Split into Three Companies

Defense Segment Will Continue Work on Night Vision

January 2011

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

June 2010

April 2010

December 2009

November 2009

October 2009

September 2009

Pushing Uncooled Detector Technology to Its Limits

Smaller Pixels and Larger Formats

August 2009

July 2009

June 2009

Running FPAs Hot

Groups Worldwide Vie to Operate Their Cooled FPAs “Less Cool”

May 2009

February 2009

U.S. Army Moves Ahead with 3rd Gen FLIR Award

SDD Contract Sets the Stage for Production of 3rd Gen FLIR Engines

December 2008

October 2008

September 2008

Goodrich SUI SWIR Camera on Scan Eagle UAV

Candidates for STUAS Payload Line Up

July 2008

Multiple Kill Vehicle Seeker Development Moves to Next Phase

The Multiple Kill Vehicle (MKV) program for developing a robust mid-course ballistic missile interceptor is moving to a prototype seeker that will be able to track multiple targets and then guide multiple kill vehicles to destroy them.

 

June 2008

DX Rating for Uncooled FPAs Causes Commercial Shortage

The high priority for MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles and their infrared sensors, has led the U.S. Department of Defense to place a DX rating on components, such as uncooled microbolometers that are used in the Driver’s Vision Enhancers (DVE) on these vehicles.

Finmeccanica to Acquire DRS

Finmeccanica S.p.A. (Italy) has agreed to acquire DRS Technologies for $5.2 billion in cash.

May 2008

3rd Gen FLIR Moving to SDD

The U.S. Army’s effort to develop and field a 3rd Gen FLIR is moving into the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase.

April 2008

The Race to 17 Micron Pixels

Manufacturers of uncooled microbolometers are racing to develop and introduce focal plane arrays with 17 micron pixels. The smaller size pixels are seen by producers as a way to differentiate their products and as a path to lower cost and higher volume markets.

March 2008

Thales UK Wins SSARF Program

Thales UK has been awarded the contract for the UK’s Surveillance System and Range Finding (SSARF) requirement. The company won with the latest version of its Joint-Target Acquisition System (J-TAS), a bi-ocular handheld sight that combines daylight and thermal vision (640 x 480 VOx uncooled microbolometer from DRS) with an eye-safe laser range finder embedded military GPS and azimuth angular referencing.

December 2007

November 2007

DRS Seeking to Replace IAI Tamam on Shadow

DRS Sensors & Targeting Systems is seeking to unseat IAI-Tamam as the supplier of the EO/IR system on the U.S. Army’s Shadow 200 Tactical UAV (RQ-7B). The Army wants an upgrade of the Shadow EO/IR system which includes a laser designator.

DRS Wins ASMS Phase II Award

DRS has been selected for Phase II of the Advanced Soldier Mobility Sensor (ASMS) program - to develop a low power sensor with digitally fused uncooled LWIR and Image Intensified (I2) images for use in a helmet mounted vision sensor for mobility, target detection, and situational awareness in complex terrain.

September 2007

DRS Seeks End to TWS Problems

DRS Technologies is seeking to put an end to its Thermal Weapon Sight woes after having suspended shipments of TWS II for over five months due to a boresighting problem.

July 2007

TWS II Bridge Awards

The U.S. Army has awarded contracts for the Thermal Weapon Sight II (TWS) Bridge, which is the largest uncooled program to date.

New Border Sensors Fired Up

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s SBInet sensor network on the Mexican border went into operation along a 28 mile stretch southwest of Tucson. The first section of the “virtual fence” consists of nine 98 foot towers with visible and infrared cameras that send images to a command center and to specially equipped Border Patrol vehicles.

June 2007

DRS Splits-Out Former Nytech Unit

DRS Technologies has split-out its former Nytech unit which was acquired in 2002. The new company, called N2 Imaging Systems, will continue to operate out of its original Irvine, California offices.

April 2007

L-3 IR Products’ New Strategy on Auto Night Vision

L-3 Infrared Products is taking aim at the military driver’s vision enhancement (DVE) market with a new system intended to be used on tactical wheeled vehicles. The Diver’s Vision System (DVS) makes use of the company’s uncooled BST FPAs which are also used in its commercial automotive night vision system.

February 2007

Digital ENVG One Step Closer

The plan to replace the current helmet-mounted night vision goggles (NVG) with a digital Enhanced Night Vision Goggles [ENVG(D)] is moving closer to realization. Although numerous technical hurdles must still be surmounted, the U.S. Army has now laid out a schedule for bringing ENVG(D) into production.

December 2006

Uncooled with 17 µm Pixels

The U.S. Army’s effort to keep pushing the performance of uncooled sensor technology is again bearing fruit. All four contractors developing ultra-small pixel uncooled microbolometers have demonstrated 640 x 480 focal plane arrays with 17 µm pixels in thermal weapon sights.

November 2006

October 2006

Boeing Wins Secure Borders Initiative

The Department of Homeland Security has awarded the first phase of the Secure Border Initiative (SBInet) contract to a team led by Boeing. The program is intended to help secure both America’s southern and northern borders with a network of sensors.

August 2006

DRS Teaming with Intevac

DRS Technologies is partnering with Intevac to develop a head-mounted digitally fused night vision goggle. The NVG will digitally fuse images from DRS’ uncooled VOx microbolometers with low light level images from Intevac’s EBAPS (Electronically Bombarded Active Pixel Sensor) low-light-level CMOS imager.

June 2006

May 2006

April 2006

DARPA HOT Program

DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office has awarded four 3-year contracts for the development of near room temperature (or “HOT - High Operating Temperature”) mid-wave infrared focal plane arrays. The FPAs are intended for future use in ground-based threat warning systems.

February 2006

Irvine Sensors in FFW Contract

Irvine Sensors has been awarded a contract by Rockwell Collins Optronics for the miniature thermal imagers for the Future Force Warrior (FFW) head-mounted sensor. The Irvine Sensors cameras are based on the company’s tiny CamNoir which makes use of an IC stacking technique (“Neo-Stack) for producing highly compact electronics packages.

Prelude to TWS III

Although the U.S. Army’s TWS II program using high performance 25 µm pixel uncooled VOx microbolometers (640 x 480 and 320 x 240) is just getting started, the next-generation, with 17 µm pixels is already getting underway. Under a program funded by PEO Soldier and with the technical monitoring of the Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate, four companies have been selected to develop 640 x 480 microbolometers with 17 µm pixels and deliver two Thermal Weapon Sights and two thermal imaging modules.

January 2006

Uncooled B-kit in Phase II

The U.S. Army’s effort to develop standard interchangeable imaging modules based on uncooled VOx microbolometers went into Phase II with the awarding of contracts to BAE Systems Infrared Imaging Systems, DRS Infrared Technologies and Raytheon Vision Systems in September 2005. Under Phase II of the Uncooled B-Kit (UBK) program, the emphasis is on 640 x 480 pixel imaging modules.