New night vision for DARPA

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected Goodrich Corporation to develop next-generation night vision sensor technology for helmet-mounted and micro vehicle applications.



A three-year contract released under DARPA’s MicroSensors for Imaging (MISI) program to Goodrich’s ISR Systems division covers engineering and initial prototypes of highly sensitive lightweight imaging cameras based on the company’s shortwave infrared (SWIR) sensors. Work will be performed in Princeton, New Jersey.



In the MISI program, Goodrich’s Sensors Unlimited (SUI) team will develop its indium gallium arsenide-night vision (InGaAs-NV) SWIR sensors into a 640 x 512 pixel resolution camera weighing less than 10 grams, intended for hand-launched unmanned aerial vehicles. In addition, the company will deliver a 1280 x 1024 pixel head-mounted monocular.



According to Goodrich, SWIR technology detects reflected light at wavelengths that the human eye cannot see and works in wavelength bands that current night vision technology cannot see either.



The small and lightweight size of the Goodrich system is due to the use of advanced materials and circuitry that allow it to run without cooling, unlike other night vision technologies that need cooling systems.


The company’s technology is currently used in a range of applications, from non-invasive medical examinations to silicon wafer inspection.