Sensors Unlimited – A part of Collins Aerospace has introduced the smallest SWaP (size weight and power) short wave infrared camera for unmanned vehicles. The 640 x 512 pixel (25µm pitch) camera weighs 120g (less than four and a half ounces) with the 23mm f/1.15 lens, providing a 40-degree field of view. The <4.9 cubic inch total volume allows it to easily fit on board most unmanned aerial or ground vehicle systems (UAS or UGS). Currently the low-SWaP camera is installed in the nose cone of a Raven hand-launched unmanned aerial system.
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The SWIR camera, sensitive from 0.7µm to 1.7µm, is installed on the Raven UAS with a 320 x 240 resolution long-wave infrared (LWIR) microbolometer. The shortwave infrared camera augments the microbolometer’s thermal night imaging capabilities by enabling visual verification of laser location and imaging during thermal crossover – the hours of sunrise and sunset – when the performance of traditional thermal imaging systems is degraded.
According to Martin Ettenberg, director of business development. "The SWIR camera combined with the LWIR microbolometer on the same platform allows 24-hour coverage from a single unmanned aerial system. This provides warfighters new capabilities and new concept of operations while meeting the low-SWaP requirements of the modern battlefield. It also eases the physical burden on warfighters by allowing them to carry a single camera payload."