OEM IR modules and outdoor camera systems enable multi-spectral image fusion
June 11, 2012 // Julien Happich
Xenics has just released high-resolution OEM modules based on the same interface for both SWIR and LWIR, outdoor camera systems and multi-spectral image fusion.
The modules are suited for demanding applications such as night vision (active and passive), UAV (defence, surveillance and fire-fighting), homeland security, and search and rescue missions. The Xenics Short Wave Module XSW-640 and the Xenics Thermal Module XTM-640 are compact and lightweight uncooled modules, low-power and easy to integrate in the user's application via the universal QTE connector. A longer detection, recognition and identification range is feasible due to the detectors' small pixel size. The SWIR module XSW-640 is based on an uncooled InGaAs array of 640 by 512 pixels with a 20-µm pixel pitch, measuring just 45x45x24mm. It is optimized for the detection of shortwave infrared radiation between 0.9 and 1.7 µm, which can be extended to the visible spectrum down to 0.6 µm. At a sensitivity of less than 90 noise electrons, the XSW is optimized for active and passive night vision.
The LWIR module XTM-640 is based on an uncooled microbolometer array of 640 by 480 pixels with 17 µm pixel pitch, measuring just 45x45x32mm. It is optimized for the detection of thermal infrared radiation between 8 and 14 µm at a high thermal sensitivity of 50 mK. Without lens the XTM weighs only 95 grams. XSW weighs 70 grams. Power consumption of the XSW (with additional TE1 cooling for enhanced sensitivity) is 3 W, while the XTM uses just 1.65 W. As the only European SWIR systems supplier Xenics is able to offer high frame rates of up to 50 Hz (XTM) and 100 Hz (XSW) on the world market. With integrated powerful readout electronics, advanced non-uniformity compensation and image processing algorithms, they provide uniform and crisp IR images over a broad range of defence and security applications under all weather conditions.
Xenics OEM modules and cameras cover the full spectrum from SWIR to MWIR to LWIR. In special situations it can be advisable to use two cameras for different spectral ranges. Their images are overlaid, where areas with the highest contrast take precedence. This technique allows to considerably increase scene dynamics in terms of the depth of digitization, contrast and detection/recognition. The XSW-640 SWIR module is well suited for image fusion applications as it can be easily combined with the XTM-640 companion thermal module for LWIR. Due to their small sizes parallax is minimized and detached sensor head operation allows for parallax-free operation with one single lens and a beam splitter.
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