Raytheon to advance thermal imagers manufacturing
Raytheon has announced that it has been awarded a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract to develop a wafer scale manufacturing process that will make thermal imagers affordable and accessible to every warfighter. According to Raytheon, the $13.4 million contract was awarded under the Low Cost Thermal Imaging Manufacturing (LCTI-M) programme.
The three-year contract will see Raytheon Vision Systems (RVS) develop manufacturing processes to reduce the size, weight, power and cost of thermal cameras so that they can be integrated into PDAs or cell phones. Wider availability will enhance situational awareness and information sharing among dismounted soldiers and individual intelligence personnel, where a common view of the battlefield is critical.
Raytheon said that making high-performance thermal imagers available to every vehicle, surveillance device and dismounted soldier will give them greater situational awareness in low light, adverse weather and obscured environments. Infrared imaging can capture clear images and valuable information even in environments with severely degraded visibility. Because of their small size and low power requirements, thermal imagers can be integrated into hand-held units, rifle sights, helmets or eyeglasses, and can support extended missions. Additionally, the captured images can be shared instantly for intelligence analysis, surveillance and reconnaissance, or mission command.
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