OBERKOCHEN, Germany, June 29, 2012 — Carl Zeiss Optronics GmbH is presenting its SPECTUS (spectral technology for unlimited sight) multispectral driver’s sight device for battle vehicles. It combines an uncooled thermal imager with a residual light camera and the latter’s two infrared illuminators, which can be connected and switched on as required. It offers drivers optimal vision with full protection, even under extreme conditions.
The combination of a high-resolution thermal imaging sensor with a parallel residual light intensifier camera provides seamless coverage for the entire range of daytime and night vision. During deployments at twilight and at night, the remaining moonlight or starlight can be used by the residual light intensifier and its image displayed on the screen.
When the light for optimal visual conditions is no longer sufficient for the residual light camera, the driver can switch on the two short-wave infrared illuminators or the thermal imager. The residual light intensifier camera works at a range between 0.4 and 0.9 μm, and the thermal imager’s range is 8 to 12 μm. The combination of two optronic sensors that work in different spectral ranges is advantageous for the driver. Operational capability is ensured even if one of the sensors fails.
Thanks to the images that can be superimposed in any ratio desired, the system provides the driver with optimal visibility conditions. The driver determines the percent ratio of the image mix, depending upon the weather and visibility conditions as well as the relevant tactical requirements and road conditions.
The residual light intensifier camera clarifies the structure and depth of a puddle during heavy rain, while the thermal imager shows merely a dark or light area. The system has a short run-up time and displays the image on the monitor in a few seconds.
The system was developed for use in highly armored military vehicles. It can be installed in new vehicles and easily retrofitted to older ones. Besides the sensor and compact infrared illuminators, the only instrument required is an eye-level monitor in the driver’s seat. SPECTUS can be used as a forward- or reverse-motion camera and enables the driver to perform tactical observation and reconnaissance.
SPECTUS can be combined with any number of sensors desired to enable 360°
monitoring of the vehicle. The viewing windows are protected by a motorized shield with integrated cleaning brushes that remove coarse dirt whenever the unit is switched on and off. The windows also can be cleaned with conventional high-pressure cleaning systems.
The system meets military standards such as MIL-STD 810 for temperature, shock, vibration and air pressure as well as VG95373 for electromagnetic compatibility. It operates from −32 to 63 °C and weighs 7 kg. Wavelength range of the infrared camera is from 8 to 14 μm, that of the day-vision camera is from 400 to 700 nm, and that of the residual light intensifier camera is from 400 to 900 nm. Fields of vision of the infrared camera and the day-vision camera are 51° × 38.25°.
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