L-3 Cincinnati Electronics Announces New Lightweight Cooled Infrared Sensor for UAV Systems

By Caroline Rees / 01 May 2013
L-3 Cincinnati Electronics' NightWarrior Mid-Wave Infrared Imaging System

L-3 Cincinnati Electronics’ NightWarrior Mid-Wave Infrared Imaging System

L-3 Cincinnati Electronics (L-3 CE) has announced the launch of its new NightWarrior µCam 640 Mid-Wave Infrared (MWIR) imaging system, one of the smallest cooled infrared cameras in the world. Using a breakthrough High Operating Temperature (HOT) 15-micron pixel pitch, 640 x 512 Focal Plane Array (FPA), the NightWarrior µCam 640 offers an exponential improvement in performance and image quality for applications that could previously only use uncooled thermal imagers.

Measuring a mere 17.5 cubic inches in volume, weighing just one pound and consuming less than 6 watts of power, the NightWarrior µCam 640 is ideally suited for size, weight and power (SWaP) sensitive platforms and applications. L-3 CE engineers designed the NightWarrior for easy integration into a variety of applications, including small electro-optical payloads, thermal weapon sights, handheld systems, remote weapon stations and tactical UAS/UAV sensor systems.

As the name indicates, our vision with the NightWarrior µCam 640 is to get state-of-the-art infrared performance directly into the hands of the warfighter,” said Russ Walker, president of L-3 Cincinnati Electronics. “Our engineers have succeeded in producing an ultra-compact imaging system that represents a giant leap forward in infrared capability at an affordable price.”

The NightWarrior µCam 640 incorporates many advanced features previously found only in larger sensors. Onboard image enhancement processing delivers exceptional image quality in all light levels, and features include auto-focus, automatic gain control (AGC) and non-uniformity correction (NUC), resulting in an exceptionally crisp infrared image.

L-3 CE is also announcing the release of its new B-200 cryogenic micro cooler – another key enabling technology in the NightWarrior µCam 640 offering. The B-200 is a 0.2-watt linear closed-cycle Stirling cooler. Smaller than a D-cell battery, the B-200 generates negligible noise, making it ideal for the most tactical operational environments. Its low power draw is well-suited for battery-powered, highly mobile applications.

Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact