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21 May 2014 Performance of PHOTONIS' low light level CMOS imaging sensor for long range observation
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Identification of potential threats in low-light conditions through imaging is commonly achieved through closed-circuit television (CCTV) and surveillance cameras by combining the extended near infrared (NIR) response (800-10000nm wavelengths) of the imaging sensor with NIR LED or laser illuminators. Consequently, camera systems typically used for purposes of long-range observation often require high-power lasers in order to generate sufficient photons on targets to acquire detailed images at night. While these systems may adequately identify targets at long-range, the NIR illumination needed to achieve such functionality can easily be detected and therefore may not be suitable for covert applications. In order to reduce dependency on supplemental illumination in low-light conditions, the frame rate of the imaging sensors may be reduced to increase the photon integration time and thus improve the signal to noise ratio of the image. However, this may hinder the camera’s ability to image moving objects with high fidelity. In order to address these particular drawbacks, PHOTONIS has developed a CMOS imaging sensor (CIS) with a pixel architecture and geometry designed specifically to overcome these issues in low-light level imaging. By combining this CIS with field programmable gate array (FPGA)-based image processing electronics, PHOTONIS has achieved low-read noise imaging with enhanced signal-to-noise ratio at quarter moon illumination, all at standard video frame rates. The performance of this CIS is discussed herein and compared to other commercially available CMOS and CCD for long-range observation applications.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Loig E. Bourree "Performance of PHOTONIS' low light level CMOS imaging sensor for long range observation", Proc. SPIE 9100, Image Sensing Technologies: Materials, Devices, Systems, and Applications, 910004 (21 May 2014);


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