The Bobcat-320-Gated SWIR camera operates in the 0.9 to 1.7µm spectral band. It provides extremely short integration times down to 100 ns.
Laser gated imaging with short integration (or exposure) time allows imaging at long ranges through obscurants like haze, smoke, fog or dust. A pulsed laser is used to illuminate the target, and a gated camera (synchronized with the laser) then detects the reflected photons.
The short exposure time of the camera is delayed with respect to the pulsed laser, and therefore, only photons reflected from the target are used in the image. A short integration time, together with a short laser pulse duration, results in an image with better depth resolution.
We noticed that short integration time imaging is commonly used in long range identification systems in the defense industry. Eye-safe and covert lasers in the SWIR band (typically around 1.55 µm) are preferred over more common systems based on near infrared lasers and CMOS technology.
This makes InGaAs SWIR cameras the ideal choice in combination with a 1.55 µm laser source. Eye-safe lasers with large power or large pulse energy can be used for longer range target identification, without potential harm for users, for example during training exercises. In addition, these lasers are covert for CMOS, CCD or image intensifier based cameras.
For short integration time SWIR imaging we offer our Bobcat-320-Gated. This is a small, uncooled SWIR camera that has an integration time of 80 nsec. This extremely short exposure time results in better depth resolution when detecting the reflected laser pulse. As the camera sensitivity at short exposures is important, the read noise is very low.
Our Bobcat-320-Gated has a signal/noise ratio of approximately 55 dB. This results in excellent image quality and leads to a SWIR camera that is perfectly suited for short integration time imaging.