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DARPA PIXNET Multispectral Camera System
SRI’s low-light CMOS image sensor will bring enhanced day and night situational awareness to U.S. troops.
SRI is supplying a new, low-light, CMOS image sensor to Raytheon as part of their work on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Pixel Network for Dynamic Visualization (PIXNET) program. The PIXNET program aims to create a lightweight, affordable, image sensing system that fuses reflective and thermal bands in a single camera for greater situational awareness. As commercial, off-the-shelf night vision goggles become increasingly available to adversaries, the PIXNET vision system can give U.S. troops an edge on the battlefield.
SRI’s Night Vision Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (NV-CMOS®) imager will address PIXNET program goals in the reflective spectral bands—from visible to near infrared. The high-definition NV-CMOS chip replaces two separate sensors for day and night performance while minimizing size, weight, and power (SWaP). Additionally, it has a digital output ready for image enhancement, fusion, and networking.
The NV-CMOS sensor will complement Raytheon’s uncooled thermal detector for the fused situational-awareness camera. When combined, the imagers can provide superior vision capability to detect, recognize, and identify battlefield threats under a broad range of environmental conditions. The helmet-mounted system will fuse useful aspects of the multispectral sensors into a common, information-rich image. The image will transfer wirelessly to an Android-based smart phone for display and sharing with higher command authorities and other team members.