Tuesday, November 14, 2006

DARPA wants a 10-gram long range IR camera

DARPA has released a broad agency announcement (BAA) for a program with an ultimate goal of a SWIR (Short Wave Infra Red) camera weighing only 10-grams total - that means 10-grams for the camera, lens, detector, and electronics. Fortunately, the winning contractor lab(s) won't have to promise to reach that goal in the first phase!

DARPA has crafted the goals so that they become more and more aggressive as the program goes on (as usual). There are also different requirements for medium and long wave IR camera systems as well as different applications (miniature UAVs and head-mounted).

That being said, the goals are beyond challenging. A report at Defense Tech has a quote saying that "it will take a radically new approach". I'd say that is an accurate assessment myself. It will be very interesting to see what the contractor labs come up with.

The information packet can be found here (PDF download).

(Hat tip: Defense Tech)


a.a said...

Wonder why they are hinged on the weight. I haven't RTFA'd, but I would imagine volume would be a more significant consideration.

Yes, it would be interesting to see what it throws up.

Keith said...

My guess would be weight for micro-UAV and for headmounted (only can stand so much weight being supported by your head, particularly when one may already be wearing a helmet).

af said...

UK 'bobbies on the beat' are trialing/evaluating helmet cams. At circa 130.000 officers in the UK, there is a potential niche market in this area alone. Interesting times ahead!