Xenics introduces SWIR imaging expertise to Latin-America at FIDAE in Chile

Xenics introduces SWIR imaging expertise to Latin-America at FIDAE in Chile

Leuven, Belgium, 10 March 2014 --- Xenics, Europe’s leading manufacturer of infrared imagers and cameras will introduce its SWIR (short wave infrared) imaging technology to aerospace and security system communities in Latin America. This technology will be exhibited at the Xenics booth at Hall F, Booth F30 at the Belgium pavilion hosted by BSDI (Belgium Security & Defense Industry).

What is Shortwave Infrared (SWIR) imaging?

For the uninitiated, SWIR imaging operates within the 0.9 – 1.7μm wavelength. Just like in visible imaging, you need a light source to make a SWIR image. The light source could be the sun, the night glow or an eye-safe laser.

SWIR offers distinct advantages in the areas of Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS) and in remote sensing. SWIR covers a larger dynamic range, uses conventional optics, gives improved identification and recognition, can image through glass (so can easily be cockpit or gimbal mounted), delivers high frame rates and offers markedly better visibility and higher transmittance in poor atmospheric or weather condition.

Hyperspectral imaging in the SWIR range opens a wealth of new sensing applications for measuring environmental parameters, in geology for mineral detection, in agriculture for monitoring the maturity of crops and the type of vegetation that is present or in any application where disaster monitoring is needed. This is as relevant for airborne as it is for space based applications.

SWIR applications for Latin America
Xenics has a dedicated in-house InGaAs (Indium Gallium Arsenide) SWIR sensor production facility. Xenics shortwave infrared (SWIR) cameras come with various resolution and frame rate options and allow for a large operating range. The large integration time range enables enhanced imaging during bright daylight, as well as night time. Xenics’ cameras using SWIR technology are well-suited for reconnaissance, monitoring and exploration tasks and can contribute greatly to public safety and security.

The two main applications that would benefit the aerospace industry in Latin America would be in EVS and in remote sensing. EVS enhances situational awareness around an aircraft, whether manned or unmanned, fixed wing or rotary. This could be used in the form of visual enhancement for aids such as highlighting landing lights on a runway in conditions of poor visibility or for approaching oil platforms or at sea for coastal patrol work. Due to the wavelengths used, this gives a pilot or unmanned vehicle (UAV) operator the ability to see through fog, haze, dust and smoke. It also enhances the situational awareness around an aircraft, both when flying and when maneuvering on the ground without being seen himself.

The second key use would be for remote sensing of the environment. Relevant applications for this would be in the monitoring of vegetation or for the exploration and exploitation of minerals. The capabilities in SWIR imaging are incredibly useful in firefighting, in exploration and in environmental monitoring.

Flexibility is always ensured by Xenics’ SWIR imaging products. This allows the operator to specify exposure times and frame rates, amongst other settings.

SWIR used in space observation
Xenics has delivered three of its Xlin1.7-3000 InGaAs line detectors to the European Space Agency (ESA) for use in the Proba-V earth observation satellite which was launched on 7th May 2013. Probe-V is used to map crop and vegetation patterns. The images provide information for help in predicting environmental impacts such as famine, drought, flooding and other ecological threats.

The SWIR line-scan detector Xlin-1.7-300 is based on mechanical butting three InGaAs photodiode arrays with 1024 pixels each on a 25 μm pixel pitch, forming a nearly continuous line of 2900 pixels which means that Probe-V works to a center resolution of just 200 meters from an orbit of 825 Km above the earth.

Xenics looks at the emerging security market
“The Latin American market is very important to us,” says Xenics founder and CEO, Bob Grietens states, “Our SWIR technology will open up new territories for any day and night vision tasks. SWIR imagers enable long-range identification and detections of lasers and other markers, as well as for camouflage detection. The fusion of SWIR and thermal detection delivers the possibility of excellent imaging under all conditions, independent of weather or light conditions and offers enhanced capability for use in safeguarding airport and other infrastructure, coastal patrols and for border protection.”

Xenics will have a product demo at their booth to show how SWIR cameras work. Myriam Gillisjans will be available in Hall F, Booth F30 to help with any of your enquiries.

Professional service, knowledge and advice!

Secure in Air appreciates the professional service, knowledge and advice of Xenics in implementing the Gobi camera in our project GeoCampro. Our client was more than satisfied with the results, looking for (thermal) defects in the railways. 

Robert de Nes, Secure in Air