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Development of a novel low-cost NIR gated-viewing sensor for maritime search and rescue applications
Author(s): Enno Peters; Jendrik Schmidt; Zsófia Jurányi; Marco W. Berger; Stefan Scherbarth; Frank Lehmann
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Paper Abstract

A novel gated-viewing instrument is presented for vision enhancement in maritime search and rescue applications predominantly under limited visibility conditions at night. The compact device consists of a camera and an eye-safe NIR (near-infrared) illuminator and has a field of view of ≈7° x 6°, which is similar to field glasses. The detection range is 250 m for Lambertian reflectors, but is much larger if clothes with retro-reflectors are worn. A key challenge is the cost effectiveness of the instrument as potential users in the field of maritime search and rescue applications usually suffer from financial limitations. As a result, no image intensifier, but an off-the-shelf CMOS camera in accumulation mode with a reasonable quantum efficiency in the NIR region is used. The active illumination is based on a self-developed illuminator consisting of 7 pulsed vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) arrays. The mean optical power is 7 W, the center wavelength is λ≈804 nm, and the light pulse width is ≈100 ns at a repetition rate of 345 kHz. Detailed simulations leading to the system design are presented together with respective characterization measurements of the camera and illuminator as well as first test measurements of the complete system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 October 2019
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 11160, Electro-Optical Remote Sensing XIII, 1116004 (10 October 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2532538
Show Author Affiliations
Enno Peters, German Aerospace Ctr. (Germany)
Jendrik Schmidt, German Aerospace Ctr. (Germany)
Zsófia Jurányi, German Aerospace Ctr. (Germany)
Marco W. Berger, German Aerospace Ctr. (Germany)
Stefan Scherbarth, Consultant (Germany)
Frank Lehmann, German Aerospace Ctr. (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11160:
Electro-Optical Remote Sensing XIII
Gary W. Kamerman; Ove Steinvall, Editor(s)

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