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News

US Defence contract for imaging system development

SUI Goodrich : 25 November, 2009  (Application Story)
DARPA has contracted Sensors Unlimited to develop Short Wave Infrared Technology for enhancing human identification capabilities in the dark
Sensors Unlimited has been chosen by the Defence Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) to further develop its short wave infrared (SWIR) imaging technology for enhanced night vision capability. Under DARPA's Photon Counting Array (PCAR) program, Goodrich will develop materials and circuitry to allow its small, lightweight cameras to provide images under darker conditions than previously possible. Work will be performed at Goodrich's ISR Systems business in Princeton, USA.

The selection represents the third phase of the PCAR program; Sensors Unlimited completed the first two phases of PCAR from 2005 through mid-2009, and demonstrated the technology's ability to produce imagers that delivered less 'noise,' or random brightness variation, allowing better identification of people under darker night conditions. Phase three of the development program will advance the technology's ability to provide crisp images under no-moon conditions, providing greater human identification capabilities as well as increased situational awareness of terrain changes on the battlefield.

Ed Hart, vice president and general manager, Goodrich ISR Systems in Princeton, said, 'Our work in the PCAR program will further the capability of Goodrich's SWIR cameras, giving our soldiers a great advantage on the battlefield. Going beyond detection to identification is an urgent need, and we look forward to developing and deploying this technology to many diverse platforms.'

SWIR technology detects reflected light at wavelengths that the human eye cannot see, in wavelength bands between visible and thermal cameras. The Goodrich system is extremely small and lightweight; use of specialized indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) materials and advanced circuitry allow it to run without cooling, whereas other imaging devices in the SWIR band need cumbersome power-hungry cooling systems.
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