Monday, June 16, 2014

BAE is First to Commercialize 12um IR Pixel Imager

BAE Systems: Developed for a new class of compact and low-cost imaging systems, BAE TWV640 thermal camera core is based on the first commercially available uncooled 12um pixel. Reducing the pixel size from 17um to 12um is said to allow imaging system manufacturers to reduce lens size by 50% and decrease optics costs by 20%.

"As the first to deliver a 12-micron thermal camera core, we’re providing our customers a tremendous competitive advantage, helping them drive down system costs while providing superior imagery typically associated with our MicroIR products," said Christian Rodriguez, business development at BAE Systems. "Our TWV640 module empowers our customers to create and deliver a new generation of affordable, compact, thermal imaging systems for a broad range of applications."

Further advancing the technology developed for the 17um MIR640 thermal camera core, the TWV640 module is optimized to provide affordable thermal imaging performance in a compact, low-power solution. The TWV640 camera core captures VGA images at 60Hz to observe dynamic environments revealing details that competitors’ 30Hz offerings miss, while also eliminating the disorientation that comes from using slower video.

Compatible with off-the-shelf lenses from leading optics providers and using standard interface protocols like USB, NTSC and CameraLink, the TWV640 module is a drop-in 640x480 thermal camera core designed for makers of commercial, civil and military thermal imaging solutions.


  1. Pardon my less than stellar knowledge of IR imaging, but isn't IR also subject to things like the diffraction limit? With a detection range of 7.5 to 13.5µm and a pixel size of 12µm this thing should behave like a silicon imager with 0.85µm pixels.
    Isn't there a way to make use of all those pixels other than to oversample the blurry output from the lens? Is there some sort of pixel sized wavelength filter for maybe emission coefficient guesswork? Or different sized pixels for HDR? Computational imaging trickery?


  2. Pardon my less than stellar knowledge of IR imaging, but isn't IR
    [ ] subject to things like the diffraction limit?

    It is. Bolo pitch reduction is now getting to be around the region of diminishing returns.


  3. What means affordable performance please? What is the NETD?

    1. Don't know the price but the data sheet says <50mK (f/1)

  4. A few papers on detector size analysis. Here is one:
    Driggers et al "Infrared Detector Size - How Low Should You Go?" SPIE Vol 8355 2012.


All comments are moderated to avoid spam and personal attacks.