Covert operations usually use thermal imaging cameras or night vision equipment, but the short-wave infrared band(SWIR) has its own advantages, such as imaging through atmospheric smoke.
Infrared spectrum is divided into near-infrared (NIR), short-wave infrared (SWIR), mid-wave infrared (MWIR) and long-wave infrared (LWIR) bands. Imaging systems for security, defense, and surveillance applications rely heavily on the advantage of infrared spectroscopy.
Near-infrared cameras used for security and surveillance are usually low-light (night vision) devices, while MWIR cameras and LWIR cameras use thermal imaging to accomplish their tasks.
However, the SWIR camera itself is a useful security and surveillance device, sometimes used alone or in combination with other imagers.
The spectral boundary between NIR camera and SWIR imaging is generally about 1.4μm, and the spectral boundary between SWIR and MWIR imaging is generally about 3μm.
Applications of short wave infrared camera equipment include: the security and surveillance of facilities, ports, border, and other covert operations; the low-light imaging; visual enhancement of military pilots; and positioning and tracking of military infrared laser.
Imaging through atmospheric smoke is one of the most attractive security and surveillance applications of short wave infrared cameras. The imaging of SWIR camera in pollution and haze environment is significantly better than that of visible light camera.
The performance of SWIR cameras is better than that of visible light cameras, mainly because SWIR photons can penetrate the haze in the atmosphere, while visible light photons will be scattered in the air containing a lot of particulate matter.
Short wave infrared cameras have a capacitive transimpedance amplifier circuit design, which is suitable for a variety of applications from security imaging to high-speed scientific laser testing (requiring multiple outputs and dynamic windows).
In addition to thermal imaging cameras, there are also all-terrain reconnaissance and surveillance vehicles, the vehicle carry a variety of replaceable sensors and imagers, including near-infrared cameras, SWIR, thermal imaging, laser ranging and radar.
The vehicle can be transported by a tilt-rotor military aircraft, and through its camera control system, it can track up to 500 threats at the same time.
Short wave infrared cameras are mainly used for industrial purposes, but it is also very suitable for monitoring through fixed installations or mobile platforms such as drones.
The camera supports high dynamic range mode (HDR), providing 93 dB dynamic range and true 16-bit linear response, while having a low noise below 50 e- and a full well capacity exceeding 106 e-.
Short-wave infrared cameras can also work in the standard dynamic range AGC mode. Short-wave infrared cameras are particularly suitable for short-term exposures in applications that require extremely high speeds.