The Sparrow is a low cost and low SWaP MWIR camera core designed for the demanding requirements of wide distribution market applications such as handheld thermal systems and miniature payloads for drones or long range thermal weapon system for snipers. The Sparrow uses a state-of-the-art HOT Blackbird FPA which is integrated into a compact and novel Dewar and cooler architecture. These elements are ssembled in a compact manner that also includes low power electronics. The Sparrow electronics has multiple capabilities including FPA control, cooler driver & control, and a complete set of video processing features. This 640×512 FPA is based on SCD’s mature and field proven XBn (HOT) technology operating at 150K with 10μm pixel pitch. It includes a Digital readout integrated circuit (ROIC) implemented in advanced CMOS process. Combining these two elements yields outstanding image quality.
The 10μm pitch FPA overall size is about 55% smaller than common VGA solutions based on 15μm pitch pixel which enable the user to reduce the size & weight of the system optics. The combination of this miniature FPA with its high operating temperature enables optimization of the cooler and Dewar for low SWaP applications. Another important advantage of the Sparrow is its long life time that is based upon linear engine technology combined with the HOT FPA technology.