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.
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.
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%.
RedShift Systems has landed $12 million in first round venture capital financing. The round was led by InterWest Partners and also included strong participation from existing shareholders who sponsored the 2005 spin-off of RedShift from Aegis Semiconductor, Inc.
A New Market for SWIR Cameras
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.