SWIR imaging

SWIR imaging

What is SWIR imaging?

SWIR or Short-Wave Infrared imaging covers the wavelength range from 700 nm to approximately 2500 nm. When SWIR InGaAs (Indium Gallium Arsenide) sensors are used, it typically covers the range from 900 to 1700 nm.

Although light in the SWIR band is not visible to the human eye, the photons interact with objects in a similar fashion as in the visible realm (reflected light or photons – unlike thermal images, that rely on radiated photons). Therefore, SWIR images resemble visible (black and white) images: shadows occur, contrast is high and persons or objects are easily recognizable.

What is it used for?

Initially, SWIR imagers found application in the telecommunications industry, because they are sensitive to the 1550 nm light typically used in optical fibres. Nowadays, a wide variety of applications use SWIR imaging:

Especially for night vision, SWIR imagers also offer interesting advantages, by using the “nightglow” or atmospheric glow effect. Therefore, SWIR cameras can be used under both day and starlight conditions.

What do we offer?

Our SWIR InGaAs cameras are very small and lightweight, use very little power, and are relatively cheap (unlike other cooled cameras that can also operate in the SWIR range). Therefore, the industry finds new applications every day for system integration where cost, size and power are critical. Obviously, flexibility in terms of data and control interfaces is also important.

That is why we offer a wide variety of both cooled and uncooled SWIR cameras. In various resolutions and various framerates. All optimized for a certain application.

We have displayed our full range of SWIR cameras in the related products section. Browse through to discover them all.

What features are needed?

  • High image resolution
    The amount of pixels has a important impact on the image. The higher the resolution, the more detail your image contains. Our SWIR InGaAs cameras feature high image resolution up to 640 x 512 pixels.
  • High frame rate
    High frame rates allows you to capture fast moving objects. Our Cheetah-640CL is the world's fastest InGaAs SWIR camera, with a frame rate of 1730 Hz in full 640 x 512 image resolution. Our Xeva camera series come in various speed versions up to 350 Hz in full 320 x 256 resolution.
  • Low noise level and high dynamic range
    A low noise level assures high sensitivity, while a high dynamic range results in a high image contrast.
  • Small pixel size
    A smaller pixel size results in a smaller detector which allows us to build much smaller and cheaper SWIR cameras. Some of our SWIR cameras include an InGaAs detector with a pixel pitch down to 20 µm. This makes the cameras compatible with a broad range of exchangeable standard C-mount lenses as well as the full range of other lower-cost lenses, when compared with conventional 25 µm pixel pitch cameras.
  • Sensor temperature stabilization or cooling
    A cooled SWIR camera has a lower dark current, reaches lower noise levels and has a higher dynamic range. Several SWIR cameras in our product range are TE1-stabilized, TE1-cooled, TE3-cooled or TE4-cooled.
  • Easy connectivity
    We offer several interfaces for an easy integration into your system.

Are you looking for more information? 

Let us know. We are happy to help.

Contact us


Application notes
Die Nutzung des nahen Infrarot-Spektralbereichs (NIR) bis 2,5 μm ist von immenser wirtschaftlicher Bedeutung. Die Nutzung des nahen Infrarot-Spektralbereichs (NIR) bis 2,5 μm Wellenlänge ist von immenser wirtschaftlicher Bedeutung. Dieses Artikel geht tiefer in auf dieses Technologie.
Unsere SWIR Kameras sind ausgezeichnet für das erkennen von Unterzeichnungen in Gemälden Unterzeichnungen in Gemälden lassen sich mit der Infrarot-Analyse, der sogenannten Reflektografie, sehr gut erkennen. Unsere SWIR-Kameras vereinfachen und beschleunigen die Reflektografie, da sie ein breiteres Spektrum abdecken als andere Kameratypen.
Spektroskopie: Von LED-Strukturen bis alter Meister und ihrer Gemälde Spektroskopie: Von LED-Strukturen bis alter Meister und ihrer Gemälde
Imaging spectroscopy with SWIR InGaAs cameras has multiple applications in all sorts of industries Image capture in the near-infrared spectrum (NIR) at wavelengths up to 2.5 μm is gaining ever greater economic significance. This is especially true in regard to imaging spectroscopy: hyperspectral microscopes, for example, can accelerate the design process of new kinds of LED structures; multispectral online inspection of recyclable materials ensures unmixed waste separation [1]; and finally, in the arts, multispectral reflectography serves as a tool for revealing the secrets of old masters and their works.
Bilderfassung mit SWIR-Sensoren InGaAs als Detektormaterial, das nicht für jeden Einsatzfall gekühlt werden muss, macht das nahe Infrarot jetzt auch industriellen Applikationen zugänglich.
Analyse der Elektrolumineszenz mit empfindlichen Infrarot-Kameras Analyse der Elektrolumineszenz mit empfindlichen Infrarot-Kameras (GER)
SWIR cameras improve the production process of solar cells How can SWIR cameras improve the production process of solar cells?
High speed SWIR imaging with the world's fastest SWIR camera The Cheetah-640CL is the fastest SWIR camera in the world.
Sensitive infrared InGaAs cameras detect weak electroluminescent radiation emitted by thin-film solar cells Electroluminescence analysis improves the quality of solar cells
SWIR cameras are perfectly suited for high temperature thermal imaging applications. SWIR cameras are useful tools for high temperature thermal imaging applications.


World's first InGaAs camera photon emission microscope

Xenics enabled Semicaps to realize the world's first InGaAs camera photon emission microscope in 2004. Since then Xenics and sInfraRed have supported us in our endeavors for better sensitivity and resolution in photon and thermal emission microscopy.

Chua Choon Meng, CEO Semicaps