Intevac Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif., maker of electro-optical sensors, cameras and systems, announced today it was awarded a subcontract from DRS Technologies Inc. to jointly develop digitally fused head-mounted night vision goggles for the US Army. The goggles will use a low-light imaging sensor provided by Intevac and a thermal imaging sensor provided by DRS, the prime contractor for the program. Their objective is to develop a prototype head-mounted, night-vision system in which imagery from thermal (infrared) and low-light (night vision) sensors can be digitally "fused" and displayed on a small high-resolution display in front of a soldier's eye. Infrared imaging sensors are able to present a TV-type image based on sensing very small temperature differences in the scene being viewed -- and thus are well suited to object or threat detection -- while low-light imagers are able to provide a higher resolution image of objects that have been detected. The team expects to deliver several prototype systems by the end of this year. Intevac will supply the night-vision camera and will jointly develop the integrated head-mounted system with DRS, which is a major supplier of infrared imaging sensors to the Army. Further development and evaluation is expected, Intevac said.