Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Army's DVE Solution May Include Intevac Night-Vision Tech
Intevac Photonics' night-vision technology may contribute to the U.S. Army's total degraded visual environments (DVE) solution for helicopter pilots. In a request for information made in July, the Army sought interest from contractors willing to develop a device giving helicopter pilots clear visibility in all degraded visual environments. Intevac told R&WI that a prime contractor responding to the RFI contacted the company regarding its line of low-light vision sensors, which Executive Vice President and General Manager Andrés Brugal says may contribute a critical capability to the device. "Whatever solution they develop for DVE is most likely going to involve multiple sensors, only because of the variety in conditions that a helicopter faces in the low, close-to-the-ground environment—whether it be fog, snow, sand or smoke," said Brugal. Intevac's electron bombarded active pixel sensor (EBAPS) chips collect high-resolution digital images in the visible-to-near-infrared spectrum. The company in 2013 supplied one such sensor, the ISIE-11, to digital night vision cameras that the Army installed on its AH-64 Apaches. Since then, Intevac has developed a higher-resolution ISIE-4000 sensor and is in the process of developing a next-generation sensor that Brugal says "will have improved processing and will operate at a faster refresh rate." The prime contractor, whose identity is confidential, may use one of these sensors in its proposed DVE solution.