Smart Bullets to Feature SWIR Image Sensors

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Princeton Infrared Technologies wins a Phase II SBIR contract with the US Army at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ. The contract will fund the development of a small size, weight, power, and cost SWIR camera for precision guided gun launched munitions based on successful technology demonstrations in Phase I.

Princeton Infrared Technologies, Inc. will develop a small, low power, lightweight, uncooled 640x512 on 8 μm pixel pitch SWIR seeker for the precise engagement of targets during daytime, nighttime, and poor environmental conditions. This camera will enable the user to image and track laser designators and pointers deployed on the battlefield.

The $999,982, 2-year project will develop a gun hardened small InGaAs SWIR camera with the processing capabilities and frame rates to meet the imaging requirements of tracking targets on board of a small high speed gun or mortar launched projectile.

President of Princeton Infrared Technologies, Martin H. Ettenberg, notes, “The advantages of InGaAs SWIR imagers are their ability to image at long range through atmospheric obscurants better than visible cameras without a requirement for cooling. They support very high frame rates for negating the effects of image blur in very fast moving munitions. In prior programs, we have demonstrated that InGaAs SWIR imagers survive gun launched mechanical shock which we will leverage in this development.

From the company's previous SBIR contracts talking about its camera design capabilities:

"We have shown that InGaAs SWIR imagers survive the 20,000g gun shock. We will be manufacturing a small 300 frame per second [camera] needed to meet the imaging needs of the user to track targets while inside small gun launched projectile.

The advantage of SWIR is its ability to image at long range through the atmosphere while being an uncooled technology thus minimizing the SWAP and cost. The removal of the cooling system and the minimum number of components to operate the imager with high speed imaging is necessary to survive launch shock. The imaging system will weight less than 60g with the battery and the lens while using less than 900mW of power.

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