Goodrich SWIR camera

Sept. 7, 2010
Goodrich Corporation's ISR Systems team has introduced the smallest size, weight, and power (SWaP) shortwave IR (SWIR) camera for unmanned vehicles.

Princeton, NJ--Goodrich Corporation's ISR Systems team has introduced the smallest size, weight, and power (SWaP) shortwave IR (SWIR) camera for unmanned vehicles, including unmanned aerial vehicles.

The camera weighs less than four and a half ounces and has a total volume of less than 4.9 cubic inches, making it suitable to fit on board almost any unmanned aerial or ground vehicle. It is currently installed in the nosecone of a Raven hand-launched unmanned aerial system (UAS). The Raven is made by AeroVironment (Monrovia, CA).

The new camera relies on the company's indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) technology to sense light wavelengths from 0.7 to 1.7 microns, whereas traditional night-vision cameras can detect wavelengths up to roughly 1.0 microns. The SWIR camera's expanded capabilities allow the user to detect and track a wide range of military lasers, day or night, with exceptional clarity.

SWIR + LWIR for 24-hour coverage
The camera is installed on the Raven UAS along with a 320x240 resolution long-wave IR (LWIR) microbolometer. The 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.

"The Goodrich SWIR camera combined with the LWIR microbolometer on the same platform allows 24-hour coverage from a single unmanned aerial system," says Martin Ettenberg, director of business development for Goodrich's ISR Systems Princeton team. "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."

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About the Author

John Wallace | Senior Technical Editor (1998-2022)

John Wallace was with Laser Focus World for nearly 25 years, retiring in late June 2022. He obtained a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and physics at Rutgers University and a master's in optical engineering at the University of Rochester. Before becoming an editor, John worked as an engineer at RCA, Exxon, Eastman Kodak, and GCA Corporation.

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