Hyper-Spectral Night-Vision Camera
Agency / Branch:
DOD / NAVY
Military common laser range finders (CLRF) currently use a direct viewing binocular augmented with AN/PVS night vision eye pieces with infrared cutoff at about 900 nm, incapable of detecting either the eye-safe laser range finder beam or the laser designator beam. The CLRF needs an all-light-level day-and-night visible to Short-Wave-Infrared (SWIR) imager for simultaneously detecting the visible and infrared target/scene and tracking infrared laser energy on the target. Of particular importance is night vision capability for CLRF operation under low-light-level conditions such as overcast starlight. Building upon proven nano-technologies, the proposed Photon Counting Integrated Circuit (PCIC) Hyper-Spectral Night-Vision Camera offers: (1) Hyper-spectral imaging from visible to SWIR; (2) Low-light-level photon-counting imaging with night vision sensitivity; (3) Day-and-night all-light-level imaging with glare control using automatic gain control (AGC); and (4) Resolution of 1,024 x 1,024 pixels delivering 0.12 mRad resolution over 120 mRad field of view. During Phase I, we have demonstrated a 2-dimensional PCIC array with highest pixel sensitivity, hyper-spectral response, and saturation control for all-light-level day-and-night imaging in CLRFs. In Phase II, we will optimize the PCIC focal plane array (FPA) to full specifications, integrate the PCIC FPA with readout integrated circuit (ROIC), and prototype day-and-night all-weather photon-counting PCIC imagers for CLRF systems. The prototype PCIC imager will be fully tested and delivered for evaluation and demonstration at DoD laboratories. During Phase III, we will manufacture and market the PCIC imager to major defense contractors to be incorporated into military CLRF systems as well as for our commercial medical device products.
Small Business Information at Submission:
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