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Development of Next generation Infrared Focal Plane Arrays improving Military’s Night Fighting Capability

Night vision devices are becoming essential equipment for night driving, night flying and night surveillance, wildlife observation and search and rescue missions. Night Vision has become essential capability for ground forces in modern warfare as well as for counter terrorist operations.According to Industry ARC’s report on Night vision devices, the market is estimated to grow to $20.5 billion in 2020 at a CAGR of 7%.

 

Infrared technology is critical for military and security applications, as well as increasingly being used in many commercial products such as medical diagnostics, drivers’ enhanced vision, machine vision and a multitude of other applications, including consumer products. They are used for thermal efficiency analysis, environmental monitoring, industrial facility inspections, remote temperature sensing, short-ranged wireless communication, spectroscopy, and weather forecasting.

 

Infrared imaging enables the spotting of targets, intruders and hidden bombs by detecting their heat signatures thereby protecting troops and making the application of force more discriminating. The performance of Night vision devices is constantly being improved while driving down the size, weight and power consumption in order to maintain an edge over adversaries.

IR Technology

The word “infrared” refers to a broad portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that spans a wavelength range from 1.0 um to beyond 30 um everything between visible light and micro‐ wave radiation. Much of the infrared spectrum is not useful for ground- or sea-based imaging because the radiation is blocked by the atmosphere. The remaining portions of the spectrum are often called “atmospheric transmission windows,” and define the infrared bands that are usable on Earth.

 

The IR portion of spectrum is loosely segmented into frequency bands corresponding to “atmospheric transmission windows,” that are usable on earth, namely near infrared (NIR, 0.8-1.1um), short wave infrared (SWIR, 0.9-2.5um), mid wave infrared (MWIR, 3-5um), long wave infrared (LWIR, 8-14um), very long wave infrared (VLWIR, 12- 25um) and far infrared (FIR, > 25um).

 

The MWIR- LWIR wavebands are important for the imaging of objects that emit thermal radiation, while the NIR-SWIR bands are good for imaging scenes that reflect light, similar to visible light. Therefore NIR and SWIR imaging systems typically require some type of artificial illumination like sun‐ light, moonlight, starlight, and an atmospheric phenomenon called “nightglow.” While imaging system that operates in the MWIR and LWIR ranges can be completely passive, requiring no external illumination.

 

The infrared (IR) wavelengths are an important focus of military and defense research: it enables high-resolution vision and identification, target acquisition, surveillance, homing and tracking in near and total darkness. They are also useful to security personnel in Border Security to detect track and identify individuals and to detect contraband and hidden objects.

 

The trend in Military Infrared Imaging Systems is towards longer operating ranges, with larger arrays for increased resolution and standoff. DARPA has funded several new approaches for detector development using carbon nanotube, graphene, nanoparticles and other nanomaterials. These researches demonstrate high potential for future detector technologies that could be very beneficial for both, military and commercial sectors.

 

IR technology is following Moore’s law to a certain extent. The result is, and will continue to be, imaging systems that are smaller, less expensive, consume less power, are easier to use and offer. Resolution has reduced above the range of QCIF (Quarter Common Intermediate Format), typically 200 × 150, and sensitivity (noise-equivalent temperature difference) is now more in the order of 0.1 K when it used to be more than 0.2 K.

 

IR Detectors

Infrared photodetectors (IRPDs) have become important devices in various applications such as night vision, military missile tracking, medical imaging, industry defect imaging, environmental sensing, and exoplanet exploration. Mature semiconductor technologies such as mercury cadmium telluride and III–V material-based photodetectors have been dominating the industry. However, in the last few decades, significant funding and research has been focused to improve the performance of IRPDs such as lowering the fabrication cost, simplifying the fabrication processes, increasing the production yield, and increasing the operating temperature by making use of advances in nanofabrication and nanotechnology.

 

The two main types of IR detectors are thermal detectors and photodetectors. The response time and sensitivity of a photodetector can be higher, but they generally have to be cooled in order to cut thermal noise. The materials in these photodetectors are semiconductors with narrow band gaps.

 

The future aim should be at refining, the manufacturing for infrared sensors to make them small enough to embed in smartphones, rifle sights or eyeglasses and affordable enough to purchase for every soldier. In the last two decades, several new concepts for improving the performance of infrared detectors have been proposed. These new concepts particularly address the drive towards the so-called high operating temperature focal plane arrays (FPAs), aiming to increase detector operating temperatures, and as a consequence reduce the cost of infrared systems.

 

Currently nanostructures such as graphene, 2D materials, quantum well (QW), quantum dot (QD), SLS and colloid quantum dot (CQD) have shown to dramatically improve the electronic properties of IRPDs. In particular, Graphene based photodetectors are capable of detecting the entire spectrum, from infrared to visible to ultraviolet and in future would lead to ultrasensitive detectors and that too at room temperature. 

 

Perhaps the most important aspect of bringing down the size of today’s night-vision devices is the size of the pixel in the sensor’s detector array. “The volume of an imaging system is defined by how small and fine your pixel is,” explains Tony Bacarella, vice president of dismounted systems at the Leonardo DRS Inc. Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems segment in Dallas.

 

“In the long-range uncooled IR detector area, most of our competition is going from a 17- to a 12-micron pixel,” Bacarella says. “DRS has gone down to a 10-micron pixel. That is a 40-percent reduction in the image plane. The main thing is it drives the system’s size and weight smaller; it all drives size and weight.”

 

 

IR detectors and FPA

Infrared Cameras consist of several key elements such as Lens, Detector (Focal Plane Array), electronics for image processing and display for image presentation or video signal out. The key enablers of such infrared products are the detector materials and designs used to fabricate focal plane arrays (FPAs).

IR detectors can be categorized as being either a quantum or thermal device. In a quantum or photon  detector, electromagnetic radiation absorbed in a semiconductor material generates electron hole pairs (EHP), which are sensed by an electronic readout circuit (ROIC). In a thermal detector, on the other hand, the incident IR photons are absorbed by a thermally isolated detector element, resulting in an increase in the temperature of the element. The temperature is sensed by monitoring an electrical parameter such as resistivity or capacitance.

A Focal Plane Array (FPA) is a sensor with a two-dimensional array of detector pixel matrix, mated with a silicon readout integrated circuit (ROIC). i.e. for infra-red light, positioned in the focal plane of an optical system. The array of detectors converts photons into electrical signals measured by the silicon CMOS ROIC and read out the image from the array to a receiver.

The quantum or photon detectors show a selective wavelength dependence of response per unit incident radiation power. They exhibit both a good signal−to−noise performance and a very fast response. But to achieve this, the photon IR detectors require cryogenic cooling and are also called cooled detectors. This is necessary to prevent the thermal generation of charge carriers.

In a thermal detector, on the other hand, the incident IR photons are absorbed by a thermally isolated detector element, resulting in an increase in the temperature of the element. The temperature is sensed by monitoring an electrical parameter such as resistivity or capacitance. Thermal detectors require a temperature change to produce a signal and do not generally need cooling, hence also called un cooled detectors.

Cooled thermal imaging cameras are normally costlier than the un-cooled ones and are primarily used in defense applications for their sharp thermal contrast and effectiveness in long distance imaging for man-sized targets. “Extremely fast optics are required for uncooled detector technologies, which leads to unmanageable optics size and weight for longer-range applications,” said Mark Goodnough, chief scientist at Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Santa Barbara Focal plane facility.

 

Cooled FPAs, Cameras and Systems

Hg1-xCdxTe (MCT) is the most widely used infrared (IR) detector material in military applications, since it has high quantum efficiency due to its direct band gap and ability to tune the band gap of MCT enables IR detectors to operate in the wavelength bands ranging from SWIR to VLWIR (0.7-30 microns).

Heavier cooled systems are used in tanks and helicopters for targeting and in base outpost surveillance and high-altitude reconnaissance from aircraft. “Because of the higher operating temperatures of MCT, we can reduce the size, weight and power of systems in helicopters and aircraft,” says Scholten.

For SWIR imaging, InGaAs is one of the widely used detector materials due to its low dark current. SiGe is another example of material that can be used for the fabrication of SWIR detectors. The primary motivation for SiGe SWIR FPA development is the CMOS-like fabrication allowing for very low cost technology

In the SWIR and MWIR (1 to 5 microns wavelength), state-of-the-art devices include monolithic arrays of PtSi, and hybrid arrays of InSb and HgCdTe. Platinum silicide arrays are now commercially available with 640 by 480 elements, arranged on 24-micron centers; devices with up to 1040 by 1040 elements on 17-micron centers have also be reported. Indium antimonide arrays with over 1 million elements, in a 1024 by 1024 format on 27-micron centers, and HgCdTe arrays, with 1024 by 1024 pixels, are now undergoing laboratory testing.

In the LWIR (8 to 12 microns) and beyond, detector types include long-wave mercury cadmium telluride and extrinsic silicon. Mercury cadmium telluride devices are available in 256 by 256 format on approximately 40-micron centers, with up to 640 by 480 devices under research. Extrinsic silicon devices that respond in the wavelength range 2 to 28 microns will soon be available in a 320 by 240 format, on 50-micron centers.

Researchers are also exploring a wide range of group III and V detector materials for mid- and long-wave solutions have come up with nBn (n-type absorber, Barrier, n-type contact) and strained layer superlattice detectors, which provide higher operating temperatures with multifunction capabilities that yield smaller pixels with larger formats. 

 

Smartphones with built in Thermal Imaging  Camera

Caterpillar, a company known for their rugged heavy construction equipment, made headlines in the construction technology world in 2016 when they released the first ever smartphone with a built-in thermal imaging camera, the CAT S60. The company announced in Feb 2018  that its ultra-rugged flagship smartphone would be getting an upgrade with the upcoming release of the new CAT S61.

First and Foremost, the CAT S61 will still feature a FLIR Thermal Imaging camera, but it gets an upgrade from VGA to High-Definition detail to achieve much crisper lines and also bumps it’s temperature range up to a whopping 752F (400 degrees Celsius). That additional temperature range will help assist users in vehicle diagnostics, asphalt monitoring, and other high temperature tasks in addition to other common uses for thermal imaging. A thermal imaging live streaming option allows the user to connect with co-workers and online communities to help them diagnose issues in real time.

“Thermal imaging will soon become ubiquitous and part of our everyday lives, like the adoption of PCs, cellphones and GPS before it.” That’s the prediction from Tim Fitzgibbons, consumer electronics pioneer and co-founder of Seek Thermal Inc., a startup IR specialist company that has just launched the latest thermal camera for smartphones.

3rd-generation MW/LWIR sensor engine for advanced tactical systems developed  at Raytheon Vision Systems

Raytheon Vision Systems (RVS) has developed and demonstrated the first-ever 1280 x 720 pixel dual-band MW/LWIR focal plane arrays (FPA) to support 3rd-Generation tactical IR systems under the U.S. Army’s Dual-Band FPA Manufacturing (DBFM) program. The MW/LWIR detector arrays are fabricated from MBE-grown HgCdTe triple-layer heterojunction (TLHJ) wafers.

 

Compared to single-band sensors, the capability to detect scene radiance in both the MWIR and LWIR spectral bands offers important advantages over a wide range of weather conditions, and in the presence of battlefield obscurants, and/or active infrared countermeasures. Coupling these dual-band detector arrays with wide-area-search sensor modes and dual-band detection algorithms presently under development should provide future combat systems with on-the-move aided target detection and cuing against cluttered IR backgrounds. Two additional key characteristics of 3rd-Generation FPAs are large array format and small pixel size.

 

While the LWIR is expected to play a dominant role in target detection mode, the need to identify potential targets at extended ranges emphasizes the importance of MWIR capability. Compared to LWIR, the shorter wavelengths of MWIR radiation equate to reduced optics diffraction, which in turn means that higher optical F/# numbers can be used effectively. MWIR imaging with high magnification optics at F/6 and higher has proven effective for identifying target at very long ranges. Effective use of dual-band MW/LWIR FPAs therefore demands that they be capable of operating in multiple dual- and single-band modes and are coupled with multi-focal-length optics.

 

Thus, a key attribute of the third-generation sensor vision is the incorporation of an in-dewar mechanism to permit the cold-aperture to be varied in size between two (or more) pre-determined settings while maintaining near-100% shielding efficiency, as the external system optics F/# is varied to optimize performance in each mod

 

 

The RVS dual-band FPA architecture provides highly simultaneous temporal detection in the MWIR and LWIR bands using time-division multiplexed integration (TDMI) incorporated into the readout integrated circuit (ROIC). The TDMI ROIC incorporates a high degree of integration and output flexibility, and supports both dual-band and single-band full-frame operating modes, as well as high-speed LWIR “window” operation at 480 Hz frame rate.

 

Raytheon Vision Systems

Raytheon Vision Systems in Goleta, Calif., is working on the next generation of E/O-IR detectors with the development of advanced discriminating focal plane array (FPA) technologies in the 3-to-5-micron mid-wavelength infrared (MWIR) and the 8-to-12-micron long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) spectral regions by using a variety of semiconductor materials and FPA architectures.

 

“These include advanced III-V1 semiconductor strained-layer-superlattice (SLS) FPAs, II-VI semiconductor mercury cadmium telluride (HgCdTe) dual-band FPAs and uncooled bolometer FPAs using micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). Each of these FPA technologies address different mission requirements and are being developed to not only increase sensor capability and performance, but also to provide improved manufacturability and reduce costs,” Raytheon officials reported in the January 2014 issue of the company’s Technology Today magazine.

 

“MWIR FPAs with higher operating temperatures are advantageous for reducing the SWaP of cooled systems. For this reason, high operating temperature FPAs are being developed based on molecular beam epitaxy-grown indium arsenide/gallium antimonide (InAs/GaSb) SLS bandgap-engineered barrier device structures. The goal is to develop materials that have the producibility advantage of traditional III-V indium antimonide technology, but the operating temperature advantage of HgCdTe… Together, these factors offer the promise of improved performance, higher yield, and reduced cost for FPAs fabricated on SLS material.”

 

Uncooled Focal Plane Arrays (FPAs), Cameras and Systems

For now, next-generation systems for defense are moving to 17-μm pitch. The Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition (RSTA) group at DRS Technologies (Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.) has developed a VOx uncooled focalplane array (UFPA) consisting of 17-μm pixel-pitch detectors measuring 1,024 × 768. The imager, called U8000, was developed for the Army for use in next-generation military systems such as thermal weapon sights, digitally fused enhanced night-vision goggles, driver’s vision enhancers and unmanned aerial systems.

 

The 17-μm-pixel-pitch UFPA provides sensor systems with size, weight and power (SWaP) savings as well as cost advantages over existing devices.The microbolometer sensor used in the U8000 is a key enabling technology. Sensitive to the LWIR range between 7 to 14 μm,
Sensors Unlimited of Princeton, New Jersey began to produce small, uncooled cameras using a new semiconductor material, indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs). This remarkable material has peak sensitivity in the SWIR band, from 900 to 1700 nm.

 

 

BAE systems’ SMART chip camera FPA development

BAE Systems’ SMART (Stacked Modular Architecture High-Resolution Thermal) Chip Camera provides very compact long-wave infrared (LWIR) solutions by combining a 12 μm wafer-level packaged focal plane array (FPA) with multichip-stack, application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and wafer-level optics.

The key innovations that enabled this include a single-layer 12 μm pixel bolometer design and robust fabrication process, as well as wafer-level lid packaging. We used advanced packaging techniques to achieve an extremely small-form-factor camera, with a complete volume of 2.9 cm3 and a thermal core weight of 5.1g.

The SMART Chip Camera supports up to 60 Hz frame rates, and requires less than 500 mW of power. This work has been supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Low Cost Thermal Imager − Manufacturing (LCTI-M) program, and BAE Systems’ internal research and development investment

DARPA

DARPA program, LCTI-M addresses the development of an advanced low cost room temperature IR cameras based upon cell phone CMOS camera technology, where the imaging sensor, optics and electronics are fabricated at the wafer level. The cost of thermal cameras is one of the key factors limiting the availability of high performance IR imagers at consumer level. Further, current form-factors are unacceptable for new applications in smaller handheld devices (such as PDAs) and glasses similar to GoogleGlass.

Availability of very low cost and small form-factor IR cameras will enable a variety ofapplications such as fire-fighting, security, medical and gaming industry.

Under the DARPA-funded DUDE (Dual-Mode Detector Ensemble) program, DRS and Goodrich/Sensors Unlimited are co developing an integrated two-color image system by combining a VOx microbolometer (for 8 to 14 μm) and InGaAs (0.7 to 1.6 μm) detectors into a single focal plane array.

Other two-color work at DRS includes the distributed aperture infrared countermeasure system. “The small system uses a two-color sensor to detect and track a missile launch while directing a laser to defeat it,” says Mike Scholten, vice president of sensors at DRS’s RSTA group.

 

DARPA’s WIRED program to develop affordable wafer-scale infrared sensors

In 2015, U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)  launched Wafer Scale Infrared Detectors (WIRED) program, asking industry to develop infrared sensors and cameras for low-cost, large-format, and high-performance imaging in the short-wave infrared (SWIR), medium-wave infrared (MWIR), and long-wave infrared (LWIR) spectral bands. These infrared detectors must be able to be fabricated directly on silicon-based readout integrated circuit (ROIC) substrates at the wafer scale.

 

FPAs that respond in the SWIR and MWIR spectral bands are currently manufactured using complex and time consuming processes that typically involve several manual processing steps, including single-die processes. Because this process produces a single FPA at a time and multiple steps contribute to yield loss, the cost of individual cameras is prohibitive for many applications. Cooling MWIR, and LWIR detectors with reasonable power consumption, moreover, typically requires a cryogenic cooler, which adds size, weight, and power consumption, and cost (SWaP-C).

 

SWIR generally doesn’t require cryogenic coolers, but focal plane array costs are still high because of complex processing. SWIR imagers are not widely available with formats greater than 2 megapixels because the size of the die as well as the resulting optics become prohibitively large and expensive. The WIRED program focuses on three technical areas: SWIR, MWIR, and LWIR detectors. SWIR detector research zeroes-in on appropriate materials and wafer-scale processing techniques to produce focal plane arrays with 3-micron pixel pitch without the need for cryogenic cooling or hybrid bump bonding

 

MWIR detector research concerns materials and wafer-scale processing techniques for 10-micron focal plane arrays without cryogenic cooling or hybrid bump bonding. LWIR work, meanwhile, focuses on 12-micron focal plane arrays without cryogenic cooling or hybrid bump bonding.

 

 

HRL will research wafer scale infrared detectors for DARPA

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded HRL Laboratories, LLC, funding to research novel ways to synthesize semiconductors for sensing in the infrared spectrum, and methodologies to cost effectively integrate the infrared materials with silicon read-out integrated circuits (ROIC).  Unlike high resolution, visible light cameras that can be manufactured quickly and inexpensively, making miniature infrared cameras and sensors is both time-consuming and costly at present.

According to Senior Scientist Dr. Rajesh Rajavel, who manages HRL’s infrared detector team, wafer-level direct integration of the infrared detector material with ROIC should result in a drastic reduction in the cost of infrared imaging focal plane arrays. “Time-consuming, conventional die-level serial processes will be replaced with streamlined wafer-level processes,” he said.

The DARPA Wafer Scale Infrared Detectors (WIRED) program seeks to drastically reduce the cost of infrared focal plane arrays. “Our research and implementation of innovative methodologies will draw on HRL’s core competencies in infrared sensing, semiconductor electronics, and heterogeneous integration,” said Rajavel.

 

SWIR Vision Systems to offer high-resolution infrared imagers based on layer of colloidal lead sulfide dots.

A new spin-out company from the Research Triangle Institute (RTI International) in North Carolina is set to commercialize a range of low-cost, high-resolution short-wave infrared cameras based around a sensor featuring an active layer of colloidal quantum dots (CQDs). The key to the approach is the use of lead sulfide CQDs – which can be fabricated directly on top of a commercial CMOS read-out circuit (ROIC) – in place of epitaxial indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) layers grown on indium phosphide (InP) substrates that must then be matched carefully to silicon wafers.

 

The resulting “Acuros” cameras from SWIR Vision, set to be available in three different resolution formats, will operate across the visible and near-infrared wavelength range, up to 1700 nm. CEO George Wildeman told optics.org that the CQD technology, which was partly developed under the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program entitled Wafer-Scale Infrared Detectors (WIRED), can be deposited to form arrays of p-n heterojunctions using low-temperature, low-cost processing techniques.

 

Critically, explains the CEO, InGaAs-based imagers require not just complex, high-temperature epitaxial growth, but expensive chip-level heterogenous hybridization processes, to connect the compound semiconductor and silicon CMOS pixels. The cost of that complexity also imposes practical limitations on array and pixel size – effectively limiting InGaAs devices to VGA-level resolution. In contrast the monolithic approach by SWIR Vision Systems requires no epitaxial growth or expensive InP substrates, and eliminates the need for the hybridization steps.

 

One inevitable trade-off comes in the form of a lower sensitivity for photon-starved applications – an Acuros data sheet claims 15 per cent quantum efficiency, compared with a maximum of around 80 per cent for InGaAs-based cameras. But Wildeman says that the CQD-based sensor will still offer high performance in daylight, or in applications featuring active illumination. “Also, in our research and development roadmap, we expect further quantum efficiency improvements to come,” he added. The CEO expects the novel technology to both disrupt and expand the market for SWIR cameras by offering a lower cost point for high-resolution imaging, while Acuros’ classification as a non-ITAR “EAR99” product will also permit global adoption. “We expect to displace InGaAs technology first in applications where higher resolution is valued, and where cost-sensitivity is important,” Wildeman told optics.org.

 

Growth in Infrared Imaging market

World infrared imaging markets have entered a new period of unprecedented growth. This is almost entirely due to severe price reductions of uncooled infrared detectors which are being produced with higher yields, low cost wafer-level-packaging and highly integrated electronics.

 

Maritime and land border protection are key concerns the world over, although ongoing tensions between neighbouring nations in the Asia Pacific are expected to drive demand in this region over the coming decade.

 

The traditional major application markets include Predictive Maintenance, Building Inspection, R&D, Process Control, Nondestructive Testing (NDT), Fire Fighting, Automotive Night Vision, Aircraft Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS), Security/surveillance, Law Enforcement/Personal Vision Systems and dual-use uncooled sights (Thermal Weapon Sights, Driver’s Vision Enhancers, etc.)

 

All  applications  are  benefiting from lower cost uncooled FPAs from detector suppliers that have establishing partnerships with semiconductor fabs, implementing Wafer Level Packaging (WLP), Wafer Level Optics and integrating electronics functions on ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits).

 

EO/IR is one such technology, and a number of developments are being rolled out to provide users with a much greater border surveillance advantage. Short-wave infrared (SWIR) capability, for example, is becoming increasingly popular in the border surveillance market, due in part to its ability to detect objects in adverse weather conditions, so can be used for long durations.

 

‘The capability of the SWIR is a recent development, and we are seeing a lot of demand for it, particularly for the land and maritime systems, when large distances in difficult conditions need to be monitored,’ Nir Bar-Natan, marketing director at Controp, told Shephard. ‘We see it in all of the tenders, and Controp has several solutions for that. The SWIR is becoming very popular.’ ‘Our customers love the day channel because the image is clear, but when they look at the IR or SWIR…the edges are better, the distance to the target is better, and the data can be fused,’ Naveh Bahat, director of EO research and business for the Systems Missiles and Space Group of Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) Tamam division, added.

 

 

At the same time, new cooled detector technologies are being developed for high-end thermal imaging. Developments are accelerating in superlattice detectors and high operating temperature (“HOT”) FPAs. Cameras based on new superlattice-based nBn and XBn detectors and T2SL (Type Two Superlattice) detectors are now available in the commercial market.

 

Military Markets

Electro-optical (EO) and infrared (IR) technologies are of great interest to military users on land, at sea, and in the air, according to the latest market report from VG-Defence, “Military Electro-Optical And Infrared (EO/IR) Systems Market Report 2018-2028.” The global study projects $11.65 billion in spending in military EO and IR systems in 2018 and provides projections in terms of different countries, contracts, and defense programs.  The study points to the greater geographical dispersal of threats as one of the reasons for the increased interest in EO and IR systems as means of detecting and responding to those threats.

Ground-based Systems, including Night Sights, Fire Control Systems, Driver’s Vision Enhancers, Thermal Weapon Sights, Fused IR/I2 Systems, Unattended Ground Sensors, Soldier Systems, Hostile Fire Indicators (HFI);

Airborne Systems, including Targeting/Navigation Pods, Targeting/Piloting Systems, Reconnaissance Systems, Infrared Countermeasures, Infrared Search and Track (IRST) Systems and Persistent Surveillance Systems (aerostats, fixed wing, rotary wing and UAVs);

Naval Systems including optronic masts, thermal night sights, and shipboard IRST;
Tactical Missile Seekers, including air-to-air, surface-air, air-surface, ground-ground; and smart munitions;

Strategic Surveillance and Missile Defense including infrared satellite early warning systems and ballistic missile defense systems.

The research presents profiles of the 14 leading military EO/IR system market leaders, such as Elbit Systems Ltd., Leonardo SpA, FLIR Systems, Inc., Israel Aerospace Industries, L3 Technologies, Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp., Raytheon Co., and Rockwell Collins.

 

 

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