Raytheon’s innovative active short wave infrared (SWIR) imager uses Vescent Photonic’s emerging liquid crystal waveguide (LCWG) technology to continuously steer the illumination laser beam over the imager field of view (FOV). This approach instantly illuminates a very small fraction of the FOV, which significantly reduces the laser power compared to flash illumination. This reduced laser power directly leads to a reduction in the size, weight and power (SWaP) of the laser. The reduction in laser power reduces the input power and thermal rejection, which leads to additional reduction in the SWaP of the power supplies and thermal control. The high-speed steering capability of the LCWG enables the imager’s SWaP reduction. The SWaP reduction is possible using either global or rolling shutter detectors. In both cases, the LCWG steers the laser beam over the entire FOV while the detector is integrating. For a rolling shutter detector, the LCWG synchronizes the steering with the rolling shutter to illuminate only regions currently integrating. Raytheon’s approach enables low SWaP active SWIR imagers without compromising image quality. This paper presents the results of Raytheon’s active SWIR imager demonstration including steering control and synchronization with the detector integration.
Raytheon's AN/ASQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) Pod features state-of-the-art mid-wave infrared targeting and navigation FLIRs, an electro-optical sensor, a laser rangefinder and target designator, and a laser spot tracker. ATFLIR is fully integrated and flight tested on all F/A-18 Hornet/Super Hornet models, approved for full-rate production and is forward deployed, supporting US. fleet operations worldwide. This paper will present ATFLIR status and a summary of future plans.