Short integration time SWIR imaging

Short integration time SWIR imaging

What is short integration time imaging?

Laser gated imaging with short integration (or exposure) time allows imaging at long ranges through obscurants like haze, smoke, fog or dust. A pulsed laser is used to illuminate the target, and a gated camera (synchronized with the laser) then detects the reflected photons.

The short exposure time of the camera is delayed with respect to the pulsed laser, and therefore, only photons reflected from the target are used in the image. A short integration time, together with a short laser pulse duration, results in an image with better depth resolution.

What is short integration time SWIR imaging used for?

We noticed that short integration time imaging is commonly used in long range identification systems in the defense industry. Eye-safe and covert lasers in the SWIR band (typically around 1.55 µm) are preferred over more common systems based on near infrared lasers and CMOS technology.

This makes InGaAs SWIR cameras the ideal choice in combination with a 1.55 µm laser source. Eye-safe lasers with large power or large pulse energy can be used for longer range target identification, without potential harm for users, for example during training exercises. In addition, these lasers are covert for CMOS, CCD or image intensifier based cameras.

What do we offer?

For short integration time SWIR imaging we offer our Bobcat-320-Gated. This is a small, uncooled SWIR camera that has an integration time of 80 nsec. This extremely short exposure time results in better depth resolution when detecting the reflected laser pulse. As the camera sensitivity at short exposures is important, the read noise is very low.

Our Bobcat-320-Gated has a signal/noise ratio of approximately 55 dB. This results in excellent image quality and leads to a SWIR camera that is perfectly suited for short integration time imaging.

What features are needed?

  • SWIR wavelength range
    SWIR InGaAs detectors are sensitive in the 0.9 - 1.7 μm SWIR band. As most lasers are optimized to work on 1.55 µm, the camera must have a high Quantum-Efficiency around this area
  • Short exposure time
    A short exposure time of less than 100 nanoseconds guarantees a good depth resolution in laser gated imaging systems
  • Low read noise
    Low read noise results in high sensitivity for low light signals
  • Trigger interface with low jitter
    A trigger interface with low jitter is a necessity if the SWIR camera needs to be synchronized with the laser beam

Are you looking for more information? 

Let us know. We are happy to help.

Contact us


Press Releases
Xenics at BiOS and Photonics West 2012: Introducing our XFPA-1.7-640-LN2 and Bobcat-320-Gated Introducing our lowest noise SWIR detector XFPA-1.7-640-LN2 and ultra-short integration time Bobcat-320-Gated at BiOS and Photonics West (2012)

Versatile infrared analysis and reporting software

The Xeneth user interface is common to all the Xenics cameras. This makes it easy for customers to apply their familiarity with this comprehensive product to any new applications, covering wide ranging capabilities in various parts of the IR spectrum.

Learn it once and apply it over and over again.

Karl Niedermeyer, President, Spectro Associates, Inc.