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03 Jan 08. The Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected Goodrich Corporation to develop next-generation night vision sensor technology for helmet-mounted and micro vehicle applications. A three-year contract released under DARPA’s MicroSensors for Imaging (MISI) program to Goodrich’s ISR Systems division covers engineering and initial prototypes of highly sensitive lightweight imaging cameras based on the company’s commercially successful shortwave infrared (SWIR) sensors. Work will be performed in Princeton, NJ.

In the MISI program, Goodrich’s Sensors Unlimited, Inc. (SUI) team will develop its indium gallium arsenide-night vision (InGaAs-NV(TM)) SWIR sensors into a 640 x 512 pixel resolution camera weighing less than 10 grams, intended for hand-launched unmanned aerial vehicles. In addition, the company will deliver a 1280 x 1024 pixel head-mounted monocular.

SWIR technology detects reflected light at wavelengths that the human eye cannot see. It works in wavelength bands between visible and thermal cameras, an area that current night vision technology cannot see. The extremely small and lightweight size of the Goodrich system is due to the use of advanced materials and circuitry that allow it to run without cooling, unlike other night vision technologies that needs cumbersome cooling systems. The company’s technology is currently used on a diverse array of applications, from non-invasive medical examinations to silicon wafer inspection.

“In this new MISI program, our unmatched imaging technology will be advanced and coupled with breakthrough packaging for night vision applications,” said Edward Hart, Vice President and General Manager, SUI. “We expect this advanced InGaAs-NV technology to achieve dramatic reductions in size, weight, power and performance for a new generation of capability for the warfighter.”

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