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Lightweight InGaAs-SWIR Camera Fligh Tested on Scan Eagle UAV

Sensors Unlimited, Inc., a subsidiary of the Goodrich Corporation, announced the successful flight testing of an ultra-compact, high sensitivity SU640KTSX indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) shortwave infrared (SWIR) camera on a Boeing/InSitu ScanEagle unmanned aircraft. The test was conducted at the Fort Leonard Wood test range in Missouri. The SU640KTSX SWIR imager is designed for unmanned flight imaging requirements, offering good visibility through many atmospheric obscurants like fog, haze or rain during daytime or nighttime.

This compact sensor weighs less than 90 grams, requires no cooling at all and uses less than 2.5watts at 20 degrees C.  According to Ed Hart, General Manager of Goodrich’s Sensors Unlimited Princeton, NJ team, the new InGaAs-SWIR camera is lighter and consume less power than mid- or long-wave infrared imagers and competing shortwave germanium-based cameras, which generally require heavy and expensive cooling systems.

The 640 x 512 pixel solid-state camera, with on-board non-uniformity corrections, captures full-sized images at 30 frames per second. The camera’s focal plane array features a 25-micron pitch with a wavelength response over the shortwave infrared spectrum from 0.9 to 1.7 microns.  This model is also available with Sensors Unlimited’s new NIR/SWIR extended wavelength response from 0.7 to 1.7 microns. According to the manufacturer, the SU640KTSX can be easily integrated into large or small systems, making it suitable for hand-held, helmet mounted, mobile or aerial SWIR imaging applications. Because InGaAs night vision (NV) technology detects reflected light, unlike today’s small thermal NV cameras that detect heat signatures, Goodrich’s compact NIR/SWIR camera provides exceptional identification clarity over a wide range of day and night illumination levels.