A dual-band infrared camera system based on a dual-band quantum well infrared photodetector (QWIP) has been developed for acquiring images from both the mid-wavelength (MWIR) and long-wavelength (LWIR) infrared spectral band. The system delivers exactly pixel-registered simultaneously acquired images. It has the advantage that appropriate signal and image processing permit to exploit differences in the characteristics of those bands. Thus, the camera reveals more information than a single-band camera. It helps distinguishing between targets and decoys and has the ability to defeat many IR countermeasures such as smoke, camouflage and flares. Furthermore, the system permits to identify materials (e.g. glass, asphalt, slate, etc.), to distinguish sun reflections from hot objects and to visualize hot exhaust gases.
Furthermore, dedicated software for processing and exploitation in real-time extends the application domain of the camera system. One component corrects the images and allows for overlays with complementary colors such that differences become apparent. Another software component aims at a robust estimation of transformation parameters of consecutive images in the image stream for image registration purposes. This feature stabilizes the images also under rugged conditions and it allows for the automatic stitching of the image stream to construct large mosaic images. Mosaic images facilitate the inspection of large objects and scenarios and create a better overview for human observers. In addition, image based MTI (moving target indication) also for the case of a moving camera is under development. This component aims at surveillance applications and could also be used for camouflage assessment of moving targets.