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SWIR For Target Detection, Recognition, And Identification
Shortwave infrared (SWIR) imaging gives warfighters a clearer picture of the battlefield and minimizes the risk of civilian casualties.
by James Kirschner
Another feature unique to SWIR is the ability to image odern warfare dictates the necessity of proper beacons and lasers used with night vision goggles (NVGs). employment of weapon systems and full accountThis makes SWIR technology backward compatible to the ability of the operators employing them. Whether current technology while also leaning forward to detect new reading about the ongoing effort of Operation Enduring eye-safe lasers and beacons in the field invisible to NVGs. Freedom in Afghanistan, or the future efforts supporting the Recently, Goodrich ISR Systems (formerly Sensors global war on terrorism (GWOT), civilian casualties is a topic Unlimited) of Princeton, NJ, that will dominate the headlines. successfully ran tests with its The fog of war can impede SU640HSX camera to identify the the positive identification (PID) maximum distance achievable process used to discriminate for detection, recognition, enemy targets from innocent and PID of NATO-standard civilians and/or friendly troops. human-sized and vehicle-sized Historically, the enemy has used targets. Imagery was captured false claims of civilian casualties at distances from 100 m to 3.5 to further their cause. A tool in combating these claims is the Figure 1: Visible image (left) and SWIR image (right) of the same scene. km using SWIR-specific lenses The SWIR image shows more detail under the same conditions. (ranging from 25 mm to 500 use of imaging platforms. These mm) during day, night, and thermal crossover conditions. platforms not only identify enemy targets, but can also refute The SU640HSX is a mil-rugged InGaAs video camera with any weapon employments utilizing solid battle damage high sensitivity and an operating range of -40˚ to +70˚C. It assessment (BDA) video footage. provides real-time daylight to low-light imaging for persistent The most important characteristic of any imaging system surveillance, laser detection, and penetration through fog, is its ability to detect, recognize, and achieve PID of a target dust, smoke, and thermal crossover. The camera also employs at the longest range possible. PID enables the warfighter on-board automatic gain control (AGC), proprietary dynamicto precisely acquire enemy targets and engage them, while range enhancement technology, and built-in nonuniformity eliminating the risk to civilians and/or friendly troops, and corrections (NUCs), allowing it to minimizing collateral damage. address the challenges of urban There are many types of imagnight imaging without blooming. ing systems currently deployed, The standard SU640HSX camera but the focus of this article is images from 0.9 to 1.7 microns, on uncooled shortwave infrared while the one used for the test (SWIR) imagers. Uncooled SWIR utilized the NIR/SWIR option cameras manufactured with indiwhich is capable of imaging in um gallium arsenide (InGaAs) the extended spectrum from 0.7 sensors typically image in the 0.9 to 1.7 microns. to 1.7 micron wavelength range. Both hostile and nonhostile While this is infrared light Figure 2: SWIR is used to differentiate between individuals with scenarios were filmed at (invisible to the human eye), hostile or nonhostile intent. multiple ranges using multiple SWIR is mostly reflective in nature, SWIR lenses. A hostile scene was defined by the items producing imagery similar to visible light imagery. The SWIR each individual was carrying and their hostile “intent.” wavelength range provides the ability to penetrate through For instance, an individual running with a long object fog, smoke, and atmospheric haze at long range (see Figure (possible rocket-propelled grenade or RPG) on their 1) and remains unaffected by thermal crossover. For these shoulder does not automatically make them hostile. It reasons, the warfighter is taking an in-depth look at SWIR.
Electronic Military & Defense
the for recognition and PID (see Figure subject ran to the trunk. The graph yields a simplified model of the Note: Many SWIR camera capabilities are SU640HSX SWIR camera. air. and maritime intelligence and surveillance. the broom could be while utilizing SWIR’s clear picture mistaken for a weapon.swirconops. integration into an already fielded For more information on SWIR imaging products. 1. and identification ranges predefined using multiple lenses for each range for a known focal length is an were analyzed to determine the extremely valuable tool.com www. system can be made seamless. activities taking place. Conversely.3 Mpixel camera is ideal for UAS. n the raw data (detection/recognition/PID) and an equation was generated. ENHANCING MILITARY VISION. the Figure 3: LWIR and SWIR sensors are integrated into a Cloud raw data was extrapolated and Cap TASE 300M gimbal. and began sweeping. UGS. He is a retired aviator from the United States Air Force. (Photo courtesy Cloud Cap Technology) PID process. dust.sensorsinc. it plotted onto the appropriate graph (detect/recognize/PID) provides the warfighter a cleaner picture of the battlefield and minimizes the possibility of civilian casualties and using focal length versus distance. Here. A linear line was fit to collateral damage. By doing so. length. Always the leader in SWIR vision.com. Incorporating a SWIR camera SWIR IMAGING. Ω laser tracking & spotting Ω covert & fixed site surveillance Fog obscures SWIR clarity Visible image seen SWIR image reveals SWIR and thermal Ω UGV & UAV payloads objects in the visible through fog through smoke details through smoke image fusion Ω high speed imaging & tracking Ω gimbal sensor assemblies Ω target recognition Ω driver/pilot vision enhancement Ω border/homeland security Sensors Unlimited .goodrich. If you would like to learn more about SWIR for the military. As seen wave infrared (LWIR) camera could greatly extend detection ranges in Figure 2.Technology into a gimbal containing either a is their actions and how they employ the object that determines midwave infrared (MWIR) or long how they are identified.com right attitude / right approach / right alongside www. This is an example where During the test.Goodrich ISR Systems brings a complete arsenal of mil-hardened shortwave infrared (SWIR) Ω fusion with thermal imagers cameras to the ﬁeld. Systems.com. videos captured having detection. giving the achievable detection/ considered sensitive. phone: 609-520-0610 email: sui_sales@goodrich. Using this model. These uncooled InGaAs cameras help image through smoke. they are ideal for manned and unmanned ground. and aid in Ω facial recognition/biometrics facial recognition – in daylight or starlight. please visit www.sensorsinc. 3).vertmarkets. If the subject It is vital to perfect the target was determined to be hostile. a required focal length can be obtained James Kirschner is an applications engineer for Goodrich ISR if looking at a known distance (detection/recognition/PID). Small and light. recognition. hand-held.com www. fog and haze.com/electronics n Electronic Military & Defense 21 . you can register at recognition/PID distance (in meters) for a known focal www. pulled out the broom. Our new high sensitivity 1280 x 1024. and mobile surveillance systems.