Night Vision Imaging in the Short-Wave Infra-Red (SWIR) has some unique advantages over Visible, Near Infra-Red (NIR) or thermal imaging. It benefits from relatively high irradiance levels and intuitive reflective imaging. InGaAs/InP is the leading technology for two-dimensional (2D) SWIR detector arrays, utilizing low dark current, high efficiency and excellent uniformity.
SCD's SWIR Imager is a low Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) video engine based on a low noise 640×512/15μm InGaAs Focal Plane Array (FPA) embedded in a low cost plastic package which includes a Thermo-Electric Cooler (TEC). The SWIR Imager dimensions are 31×31×32 mm3, it weighs 50 gram and has less than 1.4W Power consumption (excluding TEC). It supports conventional video formats, such as Camera Link and BT.656.
The video engine image processing algorithms include Non-Uniformity Correction (NUC), Auto Exposure Control (AEC), Auto Gain Control (AGC), Dynamic Range Compression (DRC) and de-noising algorithms. The algorithms are specifically optimized for Low Light Level (LLL) conditions enabling imaging from sub mlux to 100 Klux light levels.
In this work we will review the optimized video engine LLL architecture, electro-optical performance and the applicability to night vision systems.
Keywords: SWIR, Infrared Detector, InGaAs, Low Light Level imaging
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