Current developments in head mounted night vision systems involve the use of various video cameras and displays. Many development efforts are aimed at generating digital video images of different parts of the EM spectrum and fusing this information into a single real time video image for the user. Image intensified video cameras are one of the camera types that are undergoing continuing development to serve this purpose. The topic of this paper is a discussion of the electronic architectures that may be used in designing such cameras. This camera development area has highlighted the importance of the downstream electronics that receives and processes the "raw" digital video signal coming from the miniature camera. Some of the significant video system architecture decisions bear on the partitioning of these downstream video processing functions throughout the overall vision system in which the camera resides. The rapidly evolving capabilities of the digital video electronic hardware that provides the video processing functions offer a wide choice of system architectures for video system design. In this paper the camera and its associated digital processing functions are discussed as an integrated camera system.
A more highly integrated, electro-optical sensor suite using Laser Illuminated Viewing and Ranging (LIVAR) techniques is being developed under the Army Advanced Concept Technology- II (ACT-II) program for enhanced manportable target surveillance and identification. The ManPortable LIVAR system currently in development employs a wide-array of sensor technologies that provides the foot-bound soldier and UGV significant advantages and capabilities in lightweight, fieldable, target location, ranging and imaging systems. The unit incorporates a wide field-of-view, 5$DEG x 3$DEG, uncooled LWIR passive sensor for primary target location. Laser range finding and active illumination is done with a triggered, flash-lamp pumped, eyesafe micro-laser operating in the 1.5 micron region, and is used in conjunction with a range-gated, electron-bombarded CCD digital camera to then image the target objective in a more- narrow, 0.3$DEG, field-of-view. Target range determination is acquired using the integrated LRF and a target position is calculated using data from other onboard devices providing GPS coordinates, tilt, bank and corrected magnetic azimuth. Range gate timing and coordinated receiver optics focus control allow for target imaging operations to be optimized. The onboard control electronics provide power efficient, system operations for extended field use periods from the internal, rechargeable battery packs. Image data storage, transmission, and processing performance capabilities are also being incorporated to provide the best all-around support, for the electronic battlefield, in this type of system. The paper will describe flash laser illumination technology, EBCCD camera technology with flash laser detection system, and image resolution improvement through frame averaging.