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Infrared and laser specialist SCD is launching a new shortwave infrared (SWIR) detector called the SWIFT-EI, the Israeli company announced on 24 April 2023.

Billed as a very low size, weight and power (SWaP) device with a low-cost, VGA-format, 10-micron-pitch SWIR detector, the SWIFT-EI is the world’s first SWIR detector integrating event-based imaging capabilities, according to SCD.

The SWIFT-EI’s advanced detection capabilities “enable tactical forces to detect multiple laser sources, laser spots, [conduct] hostile fire indication, and much more” stated SCD in a press release. Its state-of-the-art, read-out integrated circuit imager technology offers two parallel video channels in one sensor: a standard imaging SWIR video channel and a very-high-frame event imaging channel, the company explained.

“The SWIFT-EI offers SWIR imaging that supports day and low-light scenarios, enabling 24/7 situational awareness, better atmospheric penetration, and a low-cost SWIR image for tactical applications,” the company stated.  “Furthermore, its event-based imaging channel provides advanced capabilities, such as laser event spot detections, multi-laser spot thermography capabilities, and SWIR event-based imaging, broadening the scope of target detection and classification.”

The SWIFT-EI “also opens up new capacities for machine vision applications in fields such as production line sorting machines, smart agriculture and more, where analysis of high-level SWIR images is required for automatic machine decision making,” SCD added, noting that the SWIFT EI enables a full frame rate of more than 1200 Hz, which the company said is essential for machine vision and machine AI algorithms.

Key attributes of the SCD’s SWIFT-EI detector are its very low size, weight and power (SWaP) requirements and low cost, significantly expanding its potential applications. (Image: SCD)

“This new product is part of our value to be ‘always a step ahead’ and our promise to our customers to ‘be the first to see’,” Kobi Zaushnizer, CEO of SCD, was quoted as saying in a company press release. “The SWIFT-EI event-based imaging enables the next generation of AI-based systems, offering the multi-domain battlespace multi-spectral infrared imaging for better situational awareness, advanced automatic target detection and calcifications, and target hand-off across platforms and forces while increasing warrior lethality. It also enables hostile fire indication – and all of this at a price point that makes it possible for SWIR cameras to be integrated into high-distribution applications, such as weapon sights and clip-ons, drones, man-portable target designators, and more.”

Zaushnizer said the SWIFT-EI is already being delivered to initial customers around the world and that he expects to see a significant production ramp-up in the coming months.

Peter Felstead