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Proceedings Paper

Low-light NV-CMOS image sensors for day/night imaging
Author(s): T. Vogelsong; J. Tower; T. Senko; P. Levine; J. Janesick; J. Zhu; D. Zhang; G. van der Wal; M. Piacentino
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Paper Abstract

Traditionally, daylight and night vision imaging systems have required image intensifiers plus daytime cameras. But SRI’s new NV-CMOS™ image sensor technology is designed to capture images over the full range of illumination from bright sunlight to starlight. SRI’s NV-CMOS image sensors provide the low light sensitivity approaching that of an analog image intensifier tube with the cost, power, ruggedness, flexibility and convenience of a digital CMOS imager chip. NV-CMOS provides multi-megapixels at video frame rates with low noise (<2 h+), high sensitivity across the visible and near infrared (NIR) bands (peak QE <85%), high resolution (MTF at Nyquist < 50% @ 650 nm), and extended dynamic range (<75 dB). The latest test data from the NV-CMOS imager technology will be presented.

Unlike conventional image intensifiers, the NV-CMOS image sensor outputs a digital signal, ideal for recording or sharing video as well as fusion with thermal imagery. The result is a substantial reduction in size and weight, ideal for SWaP-constrained missions such as UAVs and mobile operations. SRI’s motion adaptive noise reduction processing further increases the sensitivity and reduces image smear. Enhancement of moving targets in imagery captured under extreme low light conditions imposes difficult challenges. SRI has demonstrated that image registration provides a robust solution for enhancing global scene contrast under very low SNR conditions.


Paper Details

Date Published: 31 May 2013
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8713, Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Systems and Applications X, 87130F (31 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2016396
Show Author Affiliations
T. Vogelsong, SRI International (United States)
J. Tower, SRI International (United States)
T. Senko, SRI International (United States)
P. Levine, SRI International (United States)
J. Janesick, SRI International (United States)
J. Zhu, SRI International (United States)
D. Zhang, SRI International (United States)
G. van der Wal, SRI International (United States)
M. Piacentino, SRI International (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8713:
Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Systems and Applications X
Daniel J. Henry; Davis A. Lange; Dale Linne von Berg; S. Danny Rajan; Thomas J. Walls; Darrell L. Young, Editor(s)

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