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Proceedings Paper

Swap intensified WDR CMOS module for I2/LWIR fusion
Author(s): Yang Ni; Vincent Noguier
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Paper Abstract

The combination of high resolution visible-near-infrared low light sensor and moderate resolution uncooled thermal sensor provides an efficient way for multi-task night vision. Tremendous progress has been made on uncooled thermal sensors (a-Si, VOx, etc.). It’s possible to make a miniature uncooled thermal camera module in a tiny 1cm3 cube with <1W power consumption. For silicon based solid-state low light CCD/CMOS sensors have observed also a constant progress in terms of readout noise, dark current, resolution and frame rate. In contrast to thermal sensing which is intrinsic day&night operational, the silicon based solid-state sensors are not yet capable to do the night vision performance required by defense and critical surveillance applications. Readout noise, dark current are 2 major obstacles. The low dynamic range at high sensitivity mode of silicon sensors is also an important limiting factor, which leads to recognition failure due to local or global saturations & blooming. In this context, the image intensifier based solution is still attractive for the following reasons: 1) high gain and ultra-low dark current; 2) wide dynamic range and 3) ultra-low power consumption. With high electron gain and ultra low dark current of image intensifier, the only requirement on the silicon image pickup device are resolution, dynamic range and power consumption. In this paper, we present a SWAP intensified Wide Dynamic Range CMOS module for night vision applications, especially for I2/LWIR fusion. This module is based on a dedicated CMOS image sensor using solar-cell mode photodiode logarithmic pixel design which covers a huge dynamic range (> 140dB) without saturation and blooming. The ultra-wide dynamic range image from this new generation logarithmic sensor can be used directly without any image processing and provide an instant light accommodation. The complete module is slightly bigger than a simple ANVIS format I2 tube with <500mW power consumption.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 May 2015
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 9485, Thermosense: Thermal Infrared Applications XXXVII, 94850N (12 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2176382
Show Author Affiliations
Yang Ni, New Imaging Technologies SA (France)
Vincent Noguier, New Imaging Technologies SA (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9485:
Thermosense: Thermal Infrared Applications XXXVII
Sheng-Jen (Tony) Hsieh; Joseph N. Zalameda, Editor(s)

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