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Dec 17th, 2011
 
Raytheon awarded $13M for thermal imagers
 
Raytheon Co. of Waltham, Mass., has been awarded $13.4 million by DARPA to develop a manufacturing process that will make thermal imagers more affordable and thus accessible to every military combatant.
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Under the three-year contract, Goleta-based Raytheon Vision Systems will develop wafer-scale manufacturing processes to reduce the size, weight, power and cost of thermal cameras so that they can be integrated into cell phones and other portable electronics. Wider availability would enhance situational awareness and information sharing among dismounted soldiers and individual intelligence personnel, where a common view of the battlefield is critical.

The project award is under the auspices of DARPA’s Low Cost Thermal Imaging Manufacturing program.

“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,” said Charlie Cartwright, vice president of Raytheon Network Centric Systems’ Advanced Programs, which includes the Vision Systems Div.

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 handheld 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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