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BAE Systems Reveals HAWKEYE Low-light Image Sensor

Reduced SWaP, High Performance and Quantum Efficiency

BAE Systems unveiled its HWK1411 ultra low-light image sensor – the HAWKEYE – which enables night vision in overcast starlight conditions, on 12 October.

Offering high performance imaging capabilities in all light conditions, the 1.6MP backside illuminated (BSI) HAWKEYE features reduced size, weight and power consumption (SWaP) and is optimal for battery-powered soldier systems, unmanned platforms, and targeting and surveillance applications. It is the first low-light CMOS sensor to capture imagery during overcast starlight conditions, and combines a large photon-collection array with world-class light sensitivity (quantum efficiency), the ability to see small changes in contrast (low read noise), and reduced signal noise from electricity (low dark current).

HWK1411 replaces larger and heavier legacy technology, and allows the military market to transition to the digital domain, creating a path to next-gen systems for the future,” explained Robyn Decker, Director of Sensor Solutions. “Capturing digital images is the first step toward delivering data fusion and augmented reality technology that will transform how warfighters perceive the battle space in ultra low-light conditions.

In parallel, the company has developed a compact multichip camera module (MCM) to simplify camera integration. This combines the HWK1411 image sensor with a microprocessor, flash memory, power conditioning, a flexible cable for plug-and-play connectivity, and a high-performance glass lens for optimal field of view.

HAWKEYE enables very high performance levels in all light conditions. (Image: BAE Systems)

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