in Defence / Security / Space

BAE Systems enhances TWV640 thermal camera core

Posted 15 September 2023

BAE Systems has unveiled enhanced capabilities for its TWV640 thermal camera core, designed for makers of thermal imaging solutions for defence, space and commercial markets.

Above: The AthenaTM 640 is the first commercially available, uncooled thermal focal plane array to use 12 micron pixels.
Courtesy BAE Systems

The technology is used in security and surveillance, firefighting vision systems, automotive cameras and more.
The TWV640 is powered by BAE Systems’ Athena 640 focal plane array, an uncooled long wave infrared microbolometer. The upgraded features include:

  • Contrast enhancement to provide improved imagery detail
  • Patent-pending spotlight mode to enable a picture-in-picture style image through a customizable region of contrast enhancements that do not degrade the sharpness of the image in the remainder of the frame
  • Field pixel kill to automatically substitute degraded pixels, making them virtually undetectable
  • Improved Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference (NETD) to more accurately identify objects and threats within a scene, particularly within degraded environments and/or at longer ranges

The combination of these four improvements allows for a more flexible and customisable image. The thermal camera core enables the ability to pick out threats at a long distance that are only a few pixels large.
The technology captures clear, complete images with lower temporal noise in the most visually challenging conditions including heavy fog, smoke, dust, haze and darkness. This is invaluable to a broad range of applications for security, firefighting, targeting, thermography and more.
“By further enhancing our imaging technology, we are continuing to provide our customers in the US and abroad the superior imagery and customisable features they expect from BAE Systems,” said Robyn Decker, director of Sensor Solutions at BAE Systems.
TWV640 - a 640X480 thermal camera core - was the first commercially available, uncooled thermal camera core on the market using 12-micron pixels, versus the standard 17-micron focal plane which can reduce optics sizes by 50% and decrease optics cost by 20%.
BAE Systems’ Athena product line of high performance thermal camera cores is renowned for customisable settings, a software development kit, graphic user interface and display drivers, making it easy to configure based on mission needs.
The TWV640 is produced at BAE Systems’ facility in Austin, Texas.



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