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Proceedings Paper

Lightweight uncooled TWS equipped with catadioptric optics and microscan mechanism
Author(s): A. Bergeron; H. Jerominek; M. Doucet; F. Lagacé; N. Desnoyers; S. Bernier; L. Mercier; M.-A. Boucher; M. Jacob; C. Alain; T. D. Pope; P. Laou
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Paper Abstract

A rugged lightweight thermal weapon sight (TWS) prototype was developed at INO in collaboration with DRDC-Valcartier. This TWS model is based on uncooled bolometer technology, ultralight catadioptric optics, ruggedized mechanics and electronics, and extensive onboard processing capabilities. The TWS prototype operates in a single 8-12 μm infrared (IR) band. It is equipped with a unique lightweight athermalized catadioptric objective and a bolometric IR imager with an INO focal plane array (FPA). Microscan technology allows the use of a 160 x 120 pixel FPA with a pitch of 50 μm to achieve a 320 × 240 pixel resolution image thereby avoiding the size (larger optics) and cost (expensive IR optical components) penalties associated with the use of larger format arrays. The TWS is equipped with a miniature shutter for automatic offset calibration. Based on the operation of the FPA at 100 frames per second (fps), real-time imaging with 320 x 240 pixel resolution at 25 fps is available. This TWS is also equipped with a high resolution (857 x 600 pixels) OLED color microdisplay and an integrated wireless digital RF link. The sight has an adjustable and selectable electronic reticule or crosshair (five possible reticules) and a manual focus from 5 m to infinity standoff distance. Processing capabilities are added to introduce specific functionalities such as image inversion (black hot and white hot), image enhancement, and pixel smoothing. This TWS prototype is very lightweight (~ 1100 grams) and compact (volume of 93 cubic inches). It offers human size target detection at 800 m and recognition at 200 m (Johnson criteria). With 6 Li AA batteries, it operates continuously for 5 hours and 20 minutes at room temperature. It can operate over the temperature range of -30oC to +40oC and its housing is completely sealed. The TWS is adapted to weaver or Picatinny rail mounting. The overall design of the TWS prototype is based on feedbacks of users to achieve improved user-friendly (e.g. no pull-down menus and no electronic focusing) and ergonomic (e.g. locations of buttons) features.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 May 2006
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 6206, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXII, 62061N (17 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.665523
Show Author Affiliations
A. Bergeron, INO (Canada)
H. Jerominek, INO (Canada)
M. Doucet, INO (Canada)
F. Lagacé, INO (Canada)
N. Desnoyers, INO (Canada)
S. Bernier, INO (Canada)
L. Mercier, INO (Canada)
M.-A. Boucher, INO (Canada)
M. Jacob, INO (Canada)
C. Alain, INO (Canada)
T. D. Pope, INO (Canada)
P. Laou, DRDC Valcartier (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6206:
Infrared Technology and Applications XXXII
Bjørn F. Andresen; Gabor F. Fulop; Paul R. Norton, Editor(s)

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