L-3 Cincinnati Electronics unveils new ultra-compact cooled infrared sensor for UAS applications

CINCINNATI, 30 April 2013. L-3 Cincinnati Electronics (L-3 CE) is launching its new NightWarrior 640 Mid-Wave Infrared (MWIR) imaging system, being described as one of the world’s smallest cooled infrared cameras.

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CINCINNATI, 30 April 2013. L-3 Cincinnati Electronics (L-3 CE) is launching its new NightWarrior 640 Mid-Wave Infrared (MWIR) imaging system, being described as one of the world’s smallest cooled infrared cameras.

“As the name indicates, our vision with the NightWarrior 640 is to get state-of-the-art infrared performance directly into the hands of the warfighter,” says Russ Walker, president of L-3 Cincinnati Electronics. “Our engineers have succeeded in producing an ultra-compact imaging system that represents a giant leap forward in infrared capability at an affordable price.”

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The NightWarrior 640 uses a High Operating Temperature (HOT) 15-micron pixel pitch, 640 x 512 Focal Plane Array (FPA) and is designed for size, weight, and power (SWaP)-sensitive applications and platforms; it measures 17.5 cubic inches in volume, weighs one pound, and consumes less than 6 watts of power.

L-3 CE engineers designed the NightWarrior for easy integration into a variety of applications, including small electro-optical payloads, thermal weapon sights, handheld systems, remote weapon stations, and tactical unmanned aircraft system/unmanned aerial vehicle (UAS/UAV) sensor systems.

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The NightWarrior 640 incorporates onboard image enhancement processing for exceptional image quality in all light levels, as well as a variety of features that include auto-focus, automatic gain control (AGC), and non-uniformity correction (NUC)--resulting in an exceptionally crisp infrared image.

L-3 CE also announces the release of its new B-200 cryogenic micro cooler,a key enabling technology in the NightWarrior 640. The B-200 is a 0.2-watt linear closed-cycle Stirling cooler sized smaller than a D-cell battery. It generates negligible noise, making it ideal for the most tactical operational environments, and its low power draw is well suited for battery-powered, highly mobile applications.

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