30 August 2004 Novel lightweight uncooled thermal weapon sight
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Abstract
INO in collaboration with DRDC Valcartier has been involved in the design and development of uncooled IR bolometric detector technology since the early 1990s for a broad range of military and commercial applications. From the beginning, the strategy has been to develop small-size bidimensional detector arrays and specialty linear arrays, both equipped with on-chip readout electronics. The detector arrays have been implemented in various instruments for both imaging and non-imaging applications. This paper describes two TWS1 and TWS2 prototypes of single band thermal weapon sights (TWS) making use of a novel catadioptric, i.e. refractive/reflective, optics and INO's miniature IR cameras. These cameras employ a 160x120 pixel uncooled bolometric FPA with a 52 µm pitch and NETD at 50 mK, and modular electronics consisting of three boards stacked together to fit into a 3-inch cube volume. The ultra lightweight catadioptric objective is inherently athermalized in the -30°C to +40°C range. The TWS1 is also equipped with a miniature RF link allowing bi-directional video transmission. This TWS1 weighs only 900 g and has a total volume of about 75 in3. Its power consumption is 2 W. The experimental performance showed that human detection, recognition and identification could be achieved at 800 m, 200 m, and 120 m, respectively. Construction of an improved TWS2 model is in progress. The objective is the reduction of TWS2 model weight down to 700 g, its volume down to 50 in3, replacing the RF video link with a wireless digital link, and increasing resolution to 320x240 pixels.
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Alain Bergeron, Hubert Jerominek, Jean Lacoursiere, Nichola Desnoyers, Christine Alain, Philips Laou, "Novel lightweight uncooled thermal weapon sight", Proc. SPIE 5406, Infrared Technology and Applications XXX, (30 August 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.543270; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.543270
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