News | June 29, 2005

Osram Opto Semiconductors Announces New Solutions For Night Vision Applications

San Jose, CA -- OSRAM Opto Semiconductors announced two new solutions designed to meet the stringent requirements of night vision applications. Both the company's new passively cooled Sirilas laser diode and its new OSTAR Observation infrared (IR) light-emitting diode (LED) are ideal for night vision illumination applications that require high performance yet non-visible light.

"OSRAM continues to push into new markets and application areas by leveraging its technological breakthroughs," said Don Klase, North American Business Unit Director, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors. "Our recent achievements in both lighting and thermal management enable us to develop new and exciting options for unique applications such as night vision systems. Applications that were previously forced to use less-than-ideal solutions now reap the benefits of OSRAM's compact products that consume less power, provide high power output and offer a narrow viewing angle."

The new Sirilas laser diode module includes 16 individual emitters and offers an impressive compact design. Designed for an output power of up to 20 watts (W), Sirilas is ideal for night vision applications that require approximately 5W to 8W.

OSRAM's OSTAR Observation is the company's most powerful IR LED and takes the OSTAR family into the non-visible range. Like other members of the OSTAR family, the OSTAR Observation measures just 3x1 centimeters (cm), yet it emits infrared light with a wavelength of 850 nanometers (nm) rather than visible light. This wavelength is well suited for sensors in both CMOS and CCD cameras used in night vision applications, and the high optical output ensures that the surrounding area is well covered. In a vehicle's night vision system, for example, the OSTAR achieves a range of up to 150 meters.

Normal circulating air and simple equipment such as fans or thermoelectric coolers (TEC) are all that are needed to efficiently cool the new Sirilas laser diode. Its heat sink consists of solid copper material with high thermal conductivity. The new laser diode follows last year's more powerful, water-cooled Sirilas version and is particularly suitable for night vision applications where water cooling is not possible. An integrated lens produces an almost parallel beam with a typical vertical divergence of 1.5° (full angle). Laser bars with other wavelengths (800 nm to 1000 nm) can also be integrated in the package.

The OSTAR Observation is the third product in the company's OSTAR LED portfolio. All three OSTARs measure 3x1 cm, and this area accommodates two rows of five, one-millimeter square (mm²), thin-film chips. As a surface emitter, the IR LED emits almost all of its internally generated light from the top. This enables the LED to achieve excellent optical output, ideal for integration with external optics. With a forward current of one Amp (A), the OSTAR Observation produces an output of 5 W, and its specially adapted package ensures the reliable removal of the resultant generated heat.

In previously used halogen lamps, other spectrum components must first be filtered out. In contrast, the IR LED does not need a filter, enabling a much smaller solution that can be easily installed.

The passively cooled Sirilas is currently under development. Samples are available now, and production is planned for early 2006. The OSTAR Observation is scheduled to sample in early 2006, and production is scheduled for mid-2006.

SOURCE: Osram Opto Semiconductors