From uncooled to cooled, FLIR sensor technology builds on soldier solutions

WILSONVILLE, Ore.—FLIR Systems in Wilsonville, Ore., is launching a pair of uncooled infrared sensors that will give soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coast guardsmen and law enforcement a low-cost, lightweight, high-performance sensor that can be either handheld or mounted as an infrared weapon sight.

The two Recon M monocular systems, in two performance ranges, each weigh less than 14 ounces, have a 3-hour run time, and zoom to 4X while providing 500 meters of human detect range.

Recon M has a high-resolution, large-format, long-wave VOx microbolometer that delivers range performance and image quality, as well as image and video options that enable the user to configure sensor to mission requirements.

FLIR's STACE image enhancement technology provides image quality enhancements via spatial edge and dynamic range enhancement; auto gain and level control, which automatically provides optimized imagery; and multi-use capability so that it can be configured for handheld, tripod mount, or helmet mount.

The handheld sensors are part of a long-term FLIR strategy to develop soldier solutions that extend from long-range, cooled thermal and image intensified (I2) binoculars and sniper sights, to tactical sights that can be affixed to a range of weapon types.

"These soldier sensors are small—pocket scopes—that can be used for surveillance and reconnaissance," explains Bill Sundermeier, president of FLIR Government Systems. "They will be inexpensive so that they will be accessible to individual soldiers and unit leaders. They'll keep them in their pocket or velcro them to their web gear. They'll be able to use them as a handheld night sight, and also clip them onto their weapon to use as a weapon sight."

FLIR Systems has an advantage in the large volumes of detectors and optic devices the company manufactures. The majority of these detectors go into commercial industries like automotive, where standards for shock, vibration, and temperature far outstrip any mil-specs for thermal sensors.

"The two real cost components of an uncooled sensor are the detector and the optics, and we design and manufacture both of those inside our own company, so we have access to much lower-cost components than anybody else," Sundermeier says.

Over the past year, FLIR has offered cooled and uncooled thermal rifle sights, each of which has benefits and tradeoffs. The detector and the optics are the guts of the matter. Uncooled systems are inherently less sensitive, but potentially much lighter in weight with less power consumption than cooled systems.

To put it another way, cooled systems are for long-range performance, despite the added weight and power of a cryogenic detector cooler, due to their greater sensitivity and ability to use longer-range optics. Uncooled systems are better suited for shorter range applications where lightweight and low-power trump sensitivity considerations.

"Uncooled is better for short-range performance, in terms of those overall tradeoffs," Sundermeier explains. "If what I'm doing is driving a vehicle down the road I don't have to see far. But I do want a wide field of view. So for a sensor that needs a fairly wide field of view and a fairly short range performance, uncooled is great and also inexpensive enough to put on a vehicle.

"Conversely, if I really need to see a long way then I'm talking narrow fields of view and long focal lengths, and I really want to go cooled because my detector is so much more sensitive," Sundermeier continues. "I can live with these less sensitive optics and really reach out and touch somebody, and also package it in a reasonable size."

Is it impossible to make a man-portable handheld cooled sensor or sniper sight? "Absolutely not," Sundermeier says. "Products like our Recon III are available, which is cooled, has long battery life, long-range performance, and is light enough to be handheld, relative to other cooled systems."

For more information, visit FLIR Systems online at www.flir.com.

More Military & Aerospace Electronics Current Issue Articles
More Military & Aerospace Electronics Archives Issue Articles 


Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.


Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

SBC-K7 Embedded PC for Instrumentation and Control

The SBC-K7 is an ideal platform for embedded instrumentation that combines an Atom PC running Win...

Rugged Mobile Communications Server

Advanced communications server designed to be deployed in environments where it needs to meet cer...

RR2P Removable Canister RAID System

Transportable data storage for mobile field use aboard planes, ships and ground transport. 2U, du...

Sensors Unlimited GA1280JSX High Resolution, Mil-Rugged, Extended High Sensitivity InGaAs SWIR Camera

Manufactures a high resolution, mil-rugged, extended high-sensitivity 0.9 Mpixel InGaAs SWIR came...

M1U20xx 1U Military-Grade Computer System

The M1U20xx Military-Grade Rack Mount System is a reliable high-performance mil-spec 1U solution ...

TFX-19 Trifold Rackmount LCD

The TFX1-19 is a rugged military grade high performance 2U rackmount LCD panel display offering t...

P317xx Portable Computer System w/ Three 17" LCDs

The P317xx portable " lunchbox" system is unique in offering three 17" 1280x1024 resolution LCD d...

CCXR-17 Slideways Side Access Rackmount LCD Keyboard

The CCXR-17 is a unique Side Access space-efficient military-grade high-performance 1U rackmount ...

M4U20xx 4U Rackmount Military-Grade Computer

A 4U rugged military-grade computer offering the latest long-availability high-performance mother...

Large Fiber Collimators

Diffraction Limited Large Fiber Collimators are designed for long distance beam propagation with ...

Related Companies

Innovative Integration

  Since 1988, Innovative Integration has grown to become one of the world's leading suppliers of DSP and data ac...

Elma Electronic Inc

Who we are...   About Elma Electronic Systems   The Systems division of Elma Electronic Inc. supplies the

Winchester Systems Inc

At its founding in 1981, Winchester Systems introduced its first 5 MB disk system for Intel development system users....

Extreme Engineering Solutions Inc (X-ES)

 Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. (X-ES) is a leader in the design, manufacture, and support of standard and ...

American Infrared Solutions (AIRS)

American Infrared Solutions

GE Intelligent Platforms

GE Intelligent Platforms is a leading global provider of embedded computing systems and modules for a wide range of a...

Raycom Electronics

Raycom Electronics, Inc., a subsidiary of Electro Technik Industries (ETI), was incorporated in 1965.  The compa...

Trenton Systems Inc

Designs and manufactures rugged rackmount computers and MIL-STD-810 systems using both standard COTS as well as custo...

Sensors Unlimited - UTC Aerospace Systems

Manufactures near-IR (NIR) and shortwave IR (SWIR) cameras (available fully packaged or as OEM imaging modules), line...
Wire News provided by   

social activity

Webcasts

Meeting the Gen3 backplane challenge with OpenVPX and COTS

Tight Pentagon budgets mean military systems must stay in the field for longer than ever before. This doesn't mean obsolete technology, however. Today's military electronics are being upgraded constantly, an...
Sponsored by:

Digital signal processing for signals intelligence and electronic warfare

Military & Aerospace Electronics presents an expert Webcast on the design considerations for blending general-purposes processors (GPUs), general-purpose graphics processors (GPGPUs), field-programmable ...
Sponsored by:

Advantages of Intel Architecture Products and Wind River Solutions in Military & Aerospace Applications

This webinar explains the individual advantages of the Intel Architecture hardware, available for long-life supply, and the WRS software portfolio.  There are extraordinary advantages of combining such ...
Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors

View the 2014 Buyer's Guide Now!


Mil & Aero Magazine

October 2014
Volume 25, Issue 10
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE