By topic (Military)


September 2017

Attollo Engineering Developing InGaAs and T2SL FPAs

Redux for Founders of Aerius Photonics

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

Transitioning T2SL FPAs into Major System Programs

Lockheed Martin’s Sniper Pod May be the First

Standardizing SWIR Measurements

A Proposed New Radiometric Unit

May 2017

L3 Infrared Products Readies Release of 12 Micron Microbolometers

Improves Performance of both 12 and 17 micron FPAs

Aselsan Developing Infrared Detector Capability

Uncooled fab already under construction

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

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

Another Step in Ramping up Uncooled Sensors

September 2016

New ASRAAM Missile Seeker Gives Leonardo (Selex ES) FPAs a Boost

UK Builds ASRAAM Inventory for its New F-35 Fighters

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

U.S. Export Control Reform of Infrared in the Home Stretch

Category XII of the USML (ITAR sensors) and the Export Administration Regulations administered by the Commerce Department have been agreed to by an interagency process (including the Commerce Department (BIS), the Defense Department and the State Department). CAT XII final rules have been submitted by BIS and the State Department to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  

July 2016

June 2016

Advances in T2SL FPAs in Japan

The effort in Japan to develop Type 2 Superlattice (T2SL) FPAs in Japan has taken a big step forward. Researchers at Sumitomo Electric, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and Ritsumeikan University have fabricated a 320 x 256/30 InAs/GaSb FPA with a 6 µm cutoff and an NETD of  31mK.

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.

May 2016

St. Johns Optical Licenses Lead Selenide Detector FPA Technologies

Solution deposited and thermal vapor deposited.

Airbus Defense Electronics Business to be Acquired by KKR

A new home for Airbus DS Optronics

 

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.

Teledyne Dalsa Launching Uncooled Camera Core

Teledyne Dalsa (Waterloo, Canada) is releasing a new uncooled camera, Calibir, based on a Ulis 640 x 480 amorphous silicon microbolometer with 17 micron pixels.

5N Achieves Improved InSb Crystal Growth

5N Plus Semiconductors (St. George, Utah) has developed an improved method of growing InSb boules that enables the efficient production of high quality InSb wafers and holds out the promise for higher yield InSb FPAs at lower cost.

March 2016

Commercial and Dual Use Infrared Imaging Market at the Crossroads

Big Increases in Unit Volumes Have Not Translated to Revenue Growth

February 2016

FLIR Systems Breaks New Ground with Uncooled Cores

FLIR Systems is launching its Boson™ cores - 12 µm pitch, wafer-level-packaged (WLP) VOx microbolometer arrays with 320 x 256 and 640 x 512 formats - that provide new levels of performance in tiny packages.

SPIE’s IR Technology and Applications Conference – A Preview

Three SPIE infrared technology and application conferences – all part of SPIE’s DCS16 Defense & Security symposium – will feature the latest developments in IR technology and sensor systems. Two sessions of the “Infrared Technology and Applications XLII” conference have been separated from that conference. They have been expanded into two new conferences – “Advanced Optics for Defense Applications: UV through LWIR” and “Tri-Technology Device Refrigeration (TTDR)”. The reasons for this separation are the important new developments taking place in the fields of optics and cryocoolers.

January 2016

UTC Hits Home Run with N2 Acquisition

UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) has acquired N2 Imaging Systems (Irvine, California). N2, which will stay at its current location, will be part of the UTAS intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) business, which includes Sensors Unlimited and Cloud Cap Technology (Hood River, Oregon).

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. However, DRS’s stake in N2 was also acquired, thus making UTAS the sole owner.

 

December 2015

DVE (Degraded Visual Environment) Program Ready to Take Off

Helicopter pilots are constantly faced with a loss of visibility when close to the ground, especially in sandy terrain. Such brownout conditions in degraded visual environments (DVE) have resulted in the loss of nearly 400 Army aircraft, 150 lives and cost over $1 billion. The solution is expected to lie in multispectral sensors (Infrared, Lidar - 3D infrared and millimeter wave and sensor fusion).

November 2015

October 2015

Infrared in China

While the world is agonizing over weakness in the Chinese economy, infrared technology and the infrared industry in China are booming. They are driven not so much by commercial export markets but mostly by domestic government procurement programs and private investment spending.

Helping to accelerate this was a large government program during the past year.

At the recent CIOE China International Optoelectronic Expo in Shenzhen companies showed off the latest developments in cooled and uncooled detectors and systems.

 

Uncooled Infrared Detectors in China

The presence of uncooled infrared technology in China started more than 13 years ago when Ulis began to supply uncooled amorphous silicon (a-Si) microbolometers to companies such as SATIR, Guide Infrared and Dali.

Since then, FLIR Systems has also supplied VOx uncooled modules, but with strict export restrictions on array size and frame rate.

The success of uncooled detector technology developed in the west caused Chinese companies to undertake major development programs to initiate a domestic supply of both a-Si and VOx microbolometers.

The current status of these developments is summarized here.

Northrop Grumman Wins CIRCM Award

And a Big Win for Selex ES MCT FPAs

September 2015

August 2015

A New Supplier of InGaAs Detectors Emerges

Startup Princeton Infrared Technologies, PIRT (Monmouth Junction, New Jersey) has emerged from its stealth mode to offer InGaAs FPAs for high-volume markets. The company’s founder and President is Martin Ettenberg, a veteran of SWIR detectors who spent 14 years at Sensors Unlimited (now part of UTC) developing and marketing InGaAs FPAs. 

The company’s first product is a 1280 x 1024 InGaAs FPA with 12 micron pixels that can operate at 100 Hz (or at 390 Hz in a 640 x 512 window). A science camera based on this FPA is expected to be released in the Fall.

July 2015

Selex ES Makes Big Push in Airborne IRST

 Selex ES Makes Big Push in Airborne IRST

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

Selex ES Moves MOVPE MCT to 8 Micron Pixels

Develops HOT MWIR Software-based Core

 

March 2015

January 2015

December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

Russian Thermal Weapon Sight

Owning Some of the Night

BAE Systems Introduces Small-Pixel VOx Microbolometer Core

Seeks Re-entry Into Commercial Market

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

DARPA PIXNET Program Gets Underway

Ultra-Small Muti-Band Uncooled Camera

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

SiOnyx Launches NIR/SWIR Black Silicon FPAs

Improved Low Light Level Imaging for Night Vision

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

Spectrolab Moves InGaAs APDs into Production

An Enabling Technology for 3D Imaging

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

United Technologies Acquiring Goodrich

A New Player in Infrared

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

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

Pushing Uncooled Infrared Toward a Cell Phone Model

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

February 2011

ITT to Split into Three Companies

Defense Segment Will Continue Work on Night Vision

January 2011

A New Uncooled Microbolometer

Megapixels for Starters

Teledyne Buying DALSA

Synergies in Infrared

December 2010

Sirica Hits Roadblock

Another Novel Uncooled Technology in Trouble

New Advanced Targeting Pod Moves to Megapixel FPAs

Northrop Grumman is Back in the Game

Sensor Overload

Gray Eagle UAVs Being Deployed with Three Common Sensor Payloads

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

FLIR Systems Acquiring ICx Technologies

Integrating a Diversified Portfolio of Technologies

Raytheon Wins SDB II Program

A Trend in Seeker Technology?

August 2010

July 2010

Putting 200 Million Pixels on Target

Lockheed Martin Wins ARGUS–IR Contract

Setting Up Shop in the U.S.

Overseas IR Detector Companies Expanding U.S. Operations

BAE Systems to Reorganize in U.S.

The Effect on Infrared Operations

June 2010

May 2010

April 2010

A New German Capability in Uncooled

Fraunhofer Institute Makes Large Format Uncooled Microbolometer

March 2010

February 2010

January 2010

December 2009

“4th Generation” Targeting Pods

Northrop Grumman’s Litening G4 Jumps Ahead

Progress in Type II Superlattice FPAs

Large Area Substrates Provide a Path to Practical Devices

November 2009

Army Makes a Second Laser Targeting Locator Module (LTLM) Award

Northrop Grumman Wins with its Mark VIIE

FLIR Systems Acquires OmniTech Partners

Adds Image Intensified Systems and Fused IR/I2 Systems to its Portfolio of Products

October 2009

September 2009

Pushing Uncooled Detector Technology to Its Limits

Smaller Pixels and Larger Formats

August 2009

Lockheed Martin Buying Gyrocam

A Deal That Makes Sense

ARTEMIS Providing Hyperspectral Images from Space

Spectral Images for Operational Use

July 2009

General Dynamics Buying Axsys

How Will the Acquisition Affect the Commercial and Military Infrared Markets?

Submarine Panoramic Infrared Periscope

Solving the “Safety Scan” Problem

June 2009

U.S. Export Controls on Uncooled Infrared Cameras Eased Drastically

Leveling the Playing Field for U.S. Manufacturers

Running FPAs Hot

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

May 2009

April 2009

March 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

January 2009

Selex Galileo Makes New Advances with its MOVPE Process

Obtaining High Yield with Mercury Cadmium Telluride

December 2008

BAE Systems PbSe Development

Company Pursues Military, Commercial Markets

November 2008

Axsys Expands Operations

Increases Product Offerings

Sofradir Buys Electrophysics

The Strategy Behind the Move

Army Cancels ARH

Sensor Systems in Limbo

October 2008

September 2008

Ulis to Supply Microbolometers to Sagem for FELIN Program

Ulis has landed a five year contract with Sagem Défense Sécurité (Paris, France) to be one of the primary suppliers of uncooled microbolometers for weapon sights and handheld infrared cameras, including those used in FELIN, the French Army’s Future Infantry Soldier System.

Goodrich SUI SWIR Camera on Scan Eagle UAV

Candidates for STUAS Payload Line Up

August 2008

Uncooled FPAs in France

Uncooled microbolometer development in France has been very rapid partly because of the cooperation between the CEA/Leti labs and Ulis

SCD and Sagem Sign Long-Term Supplier Agreement

Uncooled microbolometers for Sagem systems

Space Based IR Sensor Program Morphs to Next Phase

The Alternative Infrared Satellite System (AIRSS) program has become a follow-on to SBIRS High

July 2008

L-3 Infrared Products Downsizes

L-3 Infrared Products laid off 10% of its 180 employees in June in an effort to stem the flow of red ink.

Former Indigo Execs Prevail Over FLIR Systems in Lawsuit

FLIR Systems has lost a lawsuit against two former Indigo Systems executives whom it claimed were misappropriating trade secrets and against whom FLIR was seeking a permanent injunction to prevent them from starting a new venture to produce uncooled microbolometers.

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

Lead Salts Make a Comeback

Imaging lead salt FPAs are poised to make a comeback for niche military applications after having almost disappeared from view.

Last month the U.S. Army awarded Northrop Grumman (Rolling Meadows) a 20 month $6.1 million contract to continue development on a two-color uncooled, midwave, Lead Selenide (PbSe) Passive Infrared Cueing System (PICS).

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.

IDGA Night Vision Conference

The 2-day IDGA Night Vision Conference at the end of July includes a number of high-level presentations

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.

Bell Labs Uncooled FPA Development Looks for a Home

Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs has stopped all work to develop an uncooled focal plane array. In October 2007, the company’s partner, Isonics Corp., ceased funding the program and all rights to the technology reverted to Alcatel-Lucent.

GE Takes Minority Stake in Ulis

General Electric’s GE Commercial Finance is taking a 15% minority stake in Ulis, the supplier of uncooled amorphous silicon microbolometers.

April 2008

L-3 Buying Northrop Grumman’s Electro-Optical Systems Business

L-3 Communications has signed an agreement to acquire Northrop Grumman's Electro-Optical Systems (EOS) business for $175 million in cash. The EOS business had 2007 revenues of approximately $190 million in night vision goggles, weapons sights, driver viewers, image intensifier tubes and applied optics products.

March 2008

UK 3rdGen Albion Program Goes into Phase 2

The UK’s Albion program for developing 3rd Gen FPAs has gone into Phase 2 with the award by the UK MOD of a £5.8 million (approximately $10.6 million) three-year contract to prime contractor Selex Sensors and Airborne Systems.

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.

Goodrich Forms New ISR Business Unit

Goodrich Corp. has formed a new ISR Systems (Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance) business unit out of the former Optical & Space Systems (OSS) division. The new unit has its headquarters in Chelmsford, Mass., and includes operations in Danbury, Conn., Albuquerque, N.M., Princeton, N.J., Ithaca, N.Y., and Malvern (UK).

February 2008

Princeton Lightwave Developing FPAs for 3D Imaging

Princeton Lightwave, Inc. (PLI), has been awarded a $3.5 million DARPA contract to develop an FPA with single photon sensitivity for use in 3D imaging applications such as those demonstrated in the Jigsaw program. PLI will develop InGaAsP/InP Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode (GmAPDs) arrays optimized for single-photon detection at 1.06 µm.

BAE Systems Opens New Sensor Development Center

BAE Systems is opening a new 33,000 square foot electro-optics/infrared Sensor Technology Design Center to support military products based on the company’s VOx microbolometers.

SPIE’s Infrared Technology and Applications Conference

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.

IRnova Moves up the Food Chain to QWIP DDCA Modules

IRnova is moving up the infrared food chain and is now offering its customers full Detector Dewar Cooler Assemblies (DDCAs) instead of just QWIP focal plane arrays. The DDCAs are provided together with partners that specialize in detector and cooler manufacturing.

FLIR/Cedip Acquisition Closes

FLIR Systems has completed the acquisition of 69.3% of the shares (at 19 euros per share or a total of 42.3 million euros) of Cedip Infrared Systems after obtaining approval from the French Ministry of Finance and Economy. FLIR Systems Holdings SAS, the company’s French subsidiary will now proceed to acquire the remaining shares of Cedip for the same 19 euro price.

January 2008

Isonics-Bell Labs Uncooled Development Suspended

The effort by Isonics Corp. to develop an uncooled focal plane array by partnering with Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs has hit a funding road block after Isonics and its subsidiary SensIT failed to make a recent installment payment on the $12 million development program.

EO/IR System for DDG 1000 Moves into Production Phase

The EO/IR system for the U.S. Navy’s next-generation DDG 1000 (Zumwalt class) destroyer (including stealth and electric propulsion) is moving into the production phase.The EO/IR system is being developed by a team being led by Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems

Axsys Sells Distributed Products Business

Axsys Technologies has sold its Distributed Products business for $15 million. The divestiture of this business (which supplies bearings) allows Axsys to concentrate on its infrared and optics businesses which it is reorganizing into the following segments:

Teledyne to Acquire Judson

Teledyne Scientific & Imaging, LLC has entered into an agreement to acquire Judson Technologies, LLC.

BAE Systems Tests AALC

BAE Systems has completed the first test of an autonomous landing system intended for large mobility and transport aircraft. The test demonstrated the system’s ability to enhance pilot vision in a simulated zero-visibility landing scenario.

December 2007

British Dual-Band FPAs

The fabrication of mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) FPAs by MOVPE (Metal Organic Vapor Phase Epitaxy) continues to make rapid progress. Most recently, both Selex Sensors & Airborne Systems, S&AS and QinetiQ have achieved new performance levels with dual-band (MW/LW) FPAs.

Goodrich SUI Wins DARPA MISI Program

Goodrich SUI has received the sole award under DARPA’s Micro-Sensors for Imaging (MISI) program.

ICx Launches IPO

ICx Technologies launched an Initial Public Offering of 5 million shares of its common stock at a price of $16.00 per share on the NASDAQ market. However, the company was caught in the volatility of the markets and shares dropped to under $8 before recovering to over $9 on November 27.

November 2007

3rd Gen FLIR

The successful development of dual-band 640 x 480 and 720 x 1280 mercury cadmium telluride focal plane arrays (FPA) under the DBFM (Dual-Band Flexible Manufacturing) program at the end of 2006, is giving rise to a flurry of activity to demonstrate complete 3rd Gen systems and take full advantage of this powerful technology.

Toward Gigapixel IRFPAs

The size of infrared focal plane arrays (FPA) is poised for a large increase. Currently, both InSb and MWIR MCT arrays have been fabricated in a 2K x 2K monolithic configuration, with the InSb FPA used in the SHARP reconnaissance pod and the MCT FPA used in the NIRCam instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

A-Si Matches VOx

Amorphous silicon (a-Si) uncooled microbolometers made by ULIS are increasingly reaching performance levels previously attained only by VOx microbolometers.

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.

Textron Acquiring UIC/AAI

Textron Crop. is acquiring UIC Corp., the parent of AAI Corp., for $1.1 billion in a cash tender offer. AAI Corp. makes the Shadow 200, 300 and 400 UAVs; and is teamed with Honeywell on the micro-air-vehicle (MAV), which uses a ducted fan propulsion system to enable vertical take-off and landing.

BAE Systems Wins CROWS II Uncooled Sights

BAE Systems Infrared Imaging Systems has been awarded a five-year IDIQ contract for up to 6,500 uncooled TIM1500 modules for use in the CROWS II (Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station) made by Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace AS.

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.

October 2007

FLIR Buying Cedip

FLIR Systems has entered into an agreement to acquire a controlling interest in Cedip Infrared Systems in a deal that values the French company at 62.7 million euros (approximately $86.4 million).

Megapixel Airborne Targeting

Northrop Grumman is preparing its latest Litening AT targeting pod for flight tests in November. The new Litening AT (currently called 4th Gen Litening) makes use of a 1024 x 1024 InSb FPA (18 µm pixels) detector module (made by FLIR/Indigo), a 1024 x 1024 CCD visible sensor, a new dual-band laser designator and range finder, laser spot tracker and infrared laser marker.

Cantronic Reorganizes – Wins Orders in Spain

Cantronic Systems is re-organizing its products into two divisions: Thermography and Security/Night Vision.

Soldato del Futuro

The EO/IR components of Italy’s Future Soldier System (Soldato del Futuro) - which are being developed by Galileo Avionica - are going through initial testing.

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.

French InGaAs Capability

The Alcatel-Thales III-V Lab. has developed 320 x 256 InGaAs FPAs with good performance.

 

World Military IR Markets

The world military infrared systems market grew at a blazing growth rate in 2006.

BAE Systems Wins Digital ENVG

BAE Systems Infrared Imaging Systems has won an advanced technology demonstration award for the Digital Enhanced Night Vision Goggle, ENVG(D).

Nova Sensors Seeks to Push IR Scene Projection to New Heights with High Current RIICs

Nova Sensors is developing a new generation of Read-In-Integrated Circuits (RIIC) which will enable infrared scene projectors (IRSPs) to run at much higher temperatures and thus be able to better simulate the hot exhausts and plumes of missiles.

August 2007

Obzerv Range-Gated Camera Combined with Radar

Obzerv Technologies’ range gated camera has been integrated with radar in order to provide maritime security for a critical application in Asia. The integrated system allows long range detection of threats by the radar which then cues the Obzerv ARGC-2400 range-gated camera, which makes use of a Diode Laser Illumination System (DALIS™) operating at 808 or 860 nm.

DARPA MTO Solicits New Programs

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.

New IR Scene Projection Envisions Hybrid Approach

Infrared scene projection (IRSP) is a valuable tool for characterizing military systems such as missile seekers. Thermal IRSPs are essentially microbolometers run in reverse: in which a current is passed through electrodes on the suspended microbridge elements.

Goodrich to Modify U-2 Sensors for Space

Goodrich ISR Systems has been awarded a contract by the Naval Research Laboratory to modify the high-performance imaging sensor used on the high-altitude U-2 surveillance aircraft for use as a space payload.

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.

Qioptiq Thermal Weapon Sights Now Shipping to Australia

Qioptiq is now in the process of shipping 450 VIPIR-2 thermal weapon sights to the Australian Army. The sights will be used in Australia’s future soldier system, called the LAND125 Soldier Enhancement Programme.

Israeli Military Delegation Visits India

On the Lookout for More Infrared Business

June 2007

NoblePeak Develops New Monolithic Visible to SWIR FPA

NoblePeak Vision Corp. - a venture funded start-up - has developed a new high performance FPA with response from the visible (0.4 µm) to SWIR (1.65 µm) wavelength region.

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.

Lockheed Martin Introduces Pilotage Sensor

Lockheed Martin is introducing a new pilotage sensor for cargo and utility aircraft. The sensor was recently demonstrated on a UH-1 helicopter at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

May 2007

T2SL Research Intensifies

Research on Type II Superlattice (T2SL) FPAs is increasing rapidly as evidenced by the ten papers presented on these detectors at the April SPIE Infrared Technology & Applications Conference in Orlando. Currently, most of this work is aimed at improving performance in the LWIR, since good performance has already been demonstrated in the MWIR.

Canada Plans TWS Buy

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.

Judson Enters FPA Market

Judson Technologies LLC, which has traditionally focused on single-element and linear array infrared detectors, is entering the infrared FPA and camera market.

Selex’ Bet on MOVPE MVT FPAs Continues to Pay Off

Selex Sensors & Airborne Systems, S&AS is continuing to make rapid progress with its process for making mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) FPAs by MOVPE (Metal Organic Vapor Phase Epitaxy) on GaAs substrates. The MOVPE fabrication process, which is being supported by the UK’s 3rd Gen Albion program, has become a viable method for making MCT FPAs with good yield on relatively large substrates.

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.

Zeiss Acquiring Denel Optronics

Carl Zeiss Optronics GmbH is acquiring a 70% interest in Denel Optronics, which is owned by the state-owned defense group Denel Pty. Ltd. and is currently undergoing partial privatization. The German company and Denel Optronics have collaborated closely on technology for a number of years.

OASYS Head Mounted Display for TWS

OASYS Technology has received an order for 2300 Head Mounted Displays (HMD) from the U.S. Army RDECOM for use with the U.S. Thermal Weapon Sight.

March 2007

Acreo Spins Off QWIP Business

Acreo AB is spinning off its QWIP (Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector) business to a new company called IRnova AB.

U.S. Defense Budget

A big increase (but not for all infrared programs)

New DARPA IR Programs

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) plans to start a number of infrared programs in fiscal 2008 (starting October 1st).

SPIE’s Infrared Technologies and Applications Conference

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.

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.

Next TWS II Ready to Start

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.

World Infrared Markets

The combined world commercial and dual-use infrared imaging and spot infrared thermometry market grew at a blistering nearly 20% pace in 2006.

Israel Adopting New Export Control Act

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.

January 2007

3rd Gen FLIR Moves Out of Research and Development

3rd Gen infrared technology has moved out of R&D with the completion of the U.S. Army’s Dual-Band FPA Manufacturing Program (DBFM). The technology is being transitioned from an Advanced Technology Objective (ATO) to Systems Development and Demonstration (SDD) in which complete 3rd Gen FLIR engines (B-kits) will be developed over the next 2 - 3 years.

SCD Ramping Up Production of Uncooled VOx Microbolometers

SCD Semi Conductor Devices is ramping up production of its “BIRD” 384 x 288 (25 µm) microbolometers after encountering process issues at the beginning of 2006.

QinetiQ Receives DARPA Award

QinetiQ has been awarded a two-year, $5 million research contract by DARPA in support of its Large Area Coverage Optical Search While Track and Engage (LACOSTE) program. Under LACOSTE, extremely-wide field-of-view coded aperture imaging technology will be used to support single sensor day/night persistent tactical surveillance of all moving vehicles in a large urban battlefield.

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.

Longwave Superlattice FPA

Type II Superlattice (T2SL) FPAs have made great progress over the last three years. Some are even heralding these detectors as the successor to mercury cadmium telluride.

Sofradir Building New Fab to Increase Production

Sofradir is starting construction on a new Fab near Grenoble that will double its production capacity of cooled infrared focal plane arrays and position the company to supply 3rd Gen FPAs. The new facility will produce mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) FPAs by Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) on 4” germanium substrates (compared to the currently used 2” CZT substrates).

Image Fusion 2007

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.

November 2006

Micro-Sensors Get Really Micro

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.

Hedging the Missile Warning Risk

The U.S. Air Force is hedging its bets on the long-delayed Space Based Infrared System High and starting an alternative program that injects the most recent advances in infrared focal plane array technology.

October 2006

German Future Soldier System

The new enhanced version of the German future soldier system, IdZ-ES (Infanteristen der Zukunft) is increasing the number of infrared sights to be provided to soldiers. Earlier this year The German MoD’s BWB procurement agency awarded the prime contract for an enhanced version of IdZ to prime contractor Rheinmetall.

QWIPTECH Broadening Focus

QWIPTECH is seeking to broaden its presence in the infrared market from just being a supplier of QWIP FPAs. The company has signed a contract with Mectron to provide enhanced infrared detector assemblies for the seekers of Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.

September 2006

Selex MCT/GaAs Process goes into Production for Large Format LWIR

SELEX Sensors & Airborne Systems has moved its mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) grown by MOVPE (Metal Organic Vapor Phase Epitaxy) on low-cost GaAs substrates into production. The company is now producing 640 x 480 LWIR FPAs - dubbed “Eagle LW”- with a cut-off wavelength of 9.7µm.

August 2006

Cantronic to Buy QWIP Systems

Cantronic Systems, Inc. has agreed to merge with QWIP Systems (the Canadian company which is the parent of QWIPTECH in the U.S.) Both companies are publicly traded in Canada.

Teledyne to Acquire Rockwell Scientific

Teledyne Technologies, Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Rockwell Scientific Co., RSC, Los Angeles, California) for $167.5 million in cash from Rockwell Collins and Rockwell Automation.

FLIR Wins Final Selection for ARH

FLIR Systems has been selected by Bell Helicopter Textron to supply the EO system for the Army’s Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH). FLIR will supply the BRITE Star II® airborne stabilized multi-sensor system (640 x 480 InSb) as the Target Acquisition Sensor Suite (TASS) for ARH.

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.

July 2006

BAE Systems Wins DAS Contract

BAE Systems E&IS Sensor Systems has been awarded a $6.1 million 21-month contract to develop a DAS (Distributed Aperture System) for U.S. Army combat vehicles. The system is intended to provide the driver and crew members of armored vehicles with unprecedented situational awareness.

European Future Soldier Systems

Infrared sights for future soldier systems in several European countries are moving ahead rapidly after initially being delayed due to the lack of available uncooled focal plane arrays.

Thales Seeks to Expand Optronics in U.S.

Thales is seeking to expand its presence in optronics in the U.S.

June 2006

UK Albion Program

SELEX Sensors & Airborne Systems is moving ahead in the UK’s Albion program for the development of 3rd Gen FPAs based on mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) FPAs grown by MOVPE (Metal Organic Vapor Phase Epitaxy). After experimenting with both GaAs and GaAs:Si (GaAs on silicon) substrates, researchers have settled on the GaAs substrates because of the lower defect levels and the better stability of defect levels at storage temperatures to 100ºC.

Qioptiq is New Name for Former Thales HTO

Qioptiq is the new name for the former Thales High Tech Optics (HTO) business that was acquired by Candover Investments late last year. The new company has operations in the UK, US, Singapore, Germany and Hungary.

Germany Edges Toward Trigat LR

Germany’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) is moving closer to procuring the Trigat LR (Long Range) anti-armor missiles for the country’s Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopters. The MoD has already allocated 380 million euros for 600 Trigats.

May 2006

AIM Pushes SLs to New High Performance Levels

AIM Infrarot-Module - working in conjunction with the Fraunhofer Institut, IAF, - has demonstrated a new level of performance for Type II Superlattice (T2SL) focal plane arrays operating in the mid-wave.

Ferroelectrics Come Back to Life

L-3 Infrared Products is finally on the road to rolling out its uncooled thin-film ferroelectric (TFFE) focal plane arrays. The company has exerted a concentrated effort during the last year to make its process more robust and expects to show samples to customers during the third quarter of this year.

FLIR Reorganizes Imaging Business

FLIR Systems has re-organized its Imaging business into two separate Divisions: a commercial imaging division and a government imaging division. The company also plans to invest $15 million to significantly increase the capacity of its uncooled VOx microbolometer production facility in Santa Barbara.

SBIR Shipping Large Format IR Scene Projectors

Santa Barbara Infrared, Inc. (SBIR), a HEICO company, has shipped the first of its Large Format Resistive Array (LFRA) IR Scene Projectors, which are based on a 1024 x 1024 array of microresistors on a custom CMOS Read In Integrated Circuit (RIIC). The company has orders for 10 full systems and 3 spare projection heads from U.S. government customers representing the three military services.

BAE Systems IRIS Gets Qualified for TWS

The Thermal Weapon Sights (TWS) made by BAE Systems IR Imaging Systems have completed qualification testing by the U.S. Army.

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.

JPL Breakthrough in QDIPs

Researchers at Jet Propulsion Laboratory have achieved a significant breakthrough by fabricating the first large format QDIP Quantum Dot Infrared Photodetector) FPA. The 640 x 512 FPA formed excellent images and had an NETD of 40 mK at an operating temperature of 60 K.

German Future Soldier System to Get Upgrade

The German program for the Infantryman of the Future (IdZ - Infanteristen der Zukunft) is being upgraded with additional capabilities. Currently, the IdZ thermal weapon sight is based on an AIM HuntIR sight that makes use of a 384 x 288 MWIR mercury cadmium telluride FPA.

SCD Improves VOx Microbolometers

SCD Semi Conductor Devices has improved its “BIRD” 384 x 288 VOx (25 µm pitch) microbolometers.

March 2006

SPIE’s Infrared Technology and Applications Conference

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.

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.

The Next 3rd Gen

Researchers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, ARL, in cooperation with Rockwell Scientific Corp. are making significant progress toward being able to fabricate MCT (mercury cadmium telluride) FPAs by Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) directly on composite silicon substrates. Recently, they succeeded in making 256 x 256 pixel LWIR MCT FPAs (40 µm pitch) on silicon substrates having a lattice-matched CdSeTe buffer layer. Initial results indicate an NETD of 33 mK for a cut-off wavelength of 10 µm. Operability (fraction of usable pixels) was measured to be 99%.

Coast Guard SeeCoast to Extend Port Protection

The U.S. Coast Guard’s SeeCoast port surveillance program is adding infrared and electro-optic cameras to the Port Security and Monitoring System so as to detect, classify and track vessels.

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.

ARL and BAE Systems Team on T2SL FPAs

Researchers from the Army Research Laboratory, ARL are teaming with BAE Systems under the Advanced Sensor Collaborative Technology Alliance (CTA) program to make mid-wave Type II Superlattice (T2SL) focal plane arrays. The semiconductor layers (InAs on a GaSb substrate) were grown by ARL and the FPA processing and hybridization to an Indigo ISC9809 read-out IC (ROIC) were carried out at BAE Systems.

Thales Sells High Technology Optics Business

Thales has completed the sale of its High Technology Optics (HTO) units in the UK, Singapore, Germany and Hungary for 220 million euros (in cash) to Candover Investments.

The HTO units design and manufacture high precision optical modules and components mainly for military applications, but also for commercial uses.

Extreme CCTV and Obzerv Cancel Second Investment

Extreme CCTV has declined to make a second investment of $3 million in Obzerv Technologies Ltd. However, the two companies continue to work together to develop a new high-end security camera, LX300, based on Obzerv’s range-gated laser camera.