Goodrich Corporation has launched a new night vision and laser detection camera that can see from the near infrared (NIR) to the shortwave infrared (SWIR) portions of the light spectrum, beyond what traditional night vision goggles can see. The camera, called NIR/SWIR, uses the company's proprietary indium gallium arsenide-night vision (InGaAs-NV(TM)) technology to detect and track a broad range of battlefield infrared lasers with heightened night and day time sensitivity. The NIR/SWIR cameras are being developed by the Sensors Unlimited, Inc. team in Princeton, N.J. within Goodrich's ISR Systems unit.
New processing techniques have pushed capabilities of the NIR/SWIR camera to see light wavelengths from 0.7 micrometers to 1.7 micrometers, whereas traditional night vision cameras can detect wavelengths up to roughly 1.0 micrometers. NIR/SWIR's expanded capabilities allow the end user to detect and track a wide range of military lasers including the covert eye-safe 1.5 micrometer laser. Because InGaAS-NV technology detects light, unlike today's small thermal night vision cameras that detect heat signature, the NIR/SWIR camera provides exceptional clarity in both day and night use.
Presently available in small, lightweight camera packages with 320x256 or 640x512 resolution, the NIR/SWIR cameras are ideal for integration into night vision and laser detection systems on unmanned aerial or ground vehicles, rifle scopes, precision guided munitions, and hostile fire indicators. Potential industrial applications include machine vision to detect moisture, manufacturing imperfections, integrity of seals or joints, and other characteristics that affect product quality.
Ed Hart, Vice President and General Manager for Goodrich ISR Systems' Princeton team, said, "Our NIR/SWIR technology expands the compatibility with current night vision systems while adding remarkable new capabilities for the warfighter. With the ability to see everything from the near infrared through the short wave infrared portion of the spectrum, these new lightweight high sensitivity cameras are staying ahead of the curve in addressing customer requirements."
Goodrich will demonstrate NIR/SWIR capability at SPIE's Defense and Security Symposium in Orlando, Fla., March 18 - 20, 2008.