Imaging & Detector Industry Report

April 1, 2006
Raytheon (McKinney, TX) is equipping nearly 900 vehicles with detection and targeting systems based on advanced IR technology.

Marines to get better vehicle vision

Raytheon (McKinney, TX) is equipping nearly 900 vehicles with detection and targeting systems based on advanced IR technology. The company received $96 million to produce, install, and support Improved Thermal Sight Systems (ITSS) for the U.S. Marine Corps’ Light Armored Vehicles and $25 million in Firepower Enhancement Program (FEP) funds to outfit their 403 M1A1 tanks with equivalent night-vision systems.

These new, compact systems boost the ability to see the battlefield in the day, at night, and in adverse conditions including sand storms, rain, and smoke. Each ITSS contains a second-generation forward-looking IR (FLIR) imaging system, a laser rangefinder, an embedded fire-control computer, and a “far target” location system.

Infrared scanner aids reconstructive surgery

Advanced BioPhotonics (Bohemia, NY) has entered into a pilot site agreement with Yale University School of Medicine’s (New Haven, CT) Department of Surgery to investigate the company’s dynamic infrared imaging (DIRI) technology in mapping vascular perforator vessels and post-operative monitoring of flap viability in reconstructive breast surgery. DIRI involves the acquisition of hundreds to thousands of consecutive thermal images, deriving information from the modulation of temperature and of thermal spatial distribution of small subareas. Eventually, Advanced BioPhotonics expects to demonstrate the efficacy of the procedure for breast, abdomen, and burn reconstruction.

Konarka raises $20 million in funding

An innovator in developing Power Plastic that converts light to energy, Konarka Technologies (Lowell, MA) has raised $20 million in venture capital financing. Konarka plans to use this round of funding to accelerate further growth, continue to execute on its global partnering strategy, and to support ongoing research and development efforts.

Previous funding in Konarka-$60 million since its founding in 2001-has allowed the company to make considerable advances in its photovoltaic technology, while continuing to strengthen its intellectual property position. In 2004, Konarka acquired Siemens’ organic photovoltaic research activities, as well as its scientific team.

Merger targets highway safety

Gamma Scientific’s Highway-Safety ­Division (San Diego, CA) and Advanced Retro Technology (Baltimore, MD), two manufacturers of highway-safety measurement instrumentation, will merge to create RoadVista, a new comprehensive supplier of retroreflection-measurement instrumentation. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, with offices in Boston, MA, and Baltimore, MD, the new company will be managed by Gamma Scientific. Gamma Scientific will continue marketing advanced light-measurement instrumentation for other commercial and scientific marketplaces and Advanced Retro Technology will be fully absorbed into RoadVista.

Thermoteknix camera flies in missile test

The MIRIC TB2-30 miniature infrared camera was selected for use on the target missile in the U.S. Missile Defense Agencies’ Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) intercept test, completed in late 2005. Thermoteknix worked closely with a team from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL; Laurel, MD) to develop a multipurpose sensor payload that was integrated with the target missile to collect infrared and video imagery of the target’s boost and post-boost phases of flight, along with spectral, radiometric and video coverage of the intercept by a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3).

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Also in the news . . .

Prism Solar Technologies (PST; Stone Ridge, NY) has secured an additional $500,000 investment in its efforts to raise Series “A” financing to commercialize its patented holographic photovoltaic technology. . . . The MTSAT-2 meteorological satellite launched from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan in February carried a five-channel imager manufactured by ITT Space Systems (Rochester, NY). . . . Micron Technology (Boise, ID), a provider of advanced memory and image sensor solutions, is now selling its imaging products through the worldwide distribution channels of Digi-Key (Thief River Falls, MN). . . . Semiconductor and electronics company Dalsa (Waterloo, ON, Canada) has received two contracts totaling $2.3 million from customers in the professional imaging and life sciences end markets. . . . SensoRx (Glen Rock, NJ) has won the Frost & Sullivan 2006 Excellence in Technology of the Year Award for its development of the SpectRx systems that use infrared spectroscopy for machine-vision inspection applications in the food industry. . . . Basler Vision Components (Ahrensburg, Germany), manufacturer of digital line-scan cameras, has opened a sales office in France; BFI Optilas (Evry, France) will remain as its distributor and continue to serve customers in France.

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