Tiny infrared camera, really big air show

Posted by John McHale
PARIS AIR SHOW BLOG 22 June 2011. DRS Technologies showed me their tiny little infrared camera -- the Tamarisk -- at the Paris Air Show this week. It's so small it can fit in your hand and can be mounted to practically anything to provide infrared surveillance data.

The little 320 by 240 VOx microbolometer camera weighs less than 30 grams and draws about 750MWatts of power. It has different lens configurations -- from a 40 degree field of view down to a 9 degree field of view -- and a lens-free mode where custom optics can be added by the user. The Tamarisk can be run from the laptop USB port, says Rod D'Angerio, a DRS spokesman at the air show.
The real enabling technology with the Tamarisk is its size because it reduces the overall pricetag , which creates a wider user base, D'Angerio says. The smaller lens really helps cut down on those costs as the thermal conduction material for the lens is one of the most expensive components, he adds.
DRS is developing the product for security and law enforcement applications, which also enables the company to market it internationally as thsoe applciations typically do not require export compliance under International Traffic and Arms Regulations (ITAR), D'Angerio says.

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