Case History #5: Laser-based Night Vision for Security and Surveillance

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has a technology coordination program with Ford Motor Company in which ONR leverages the private sector’s technology development efforts to acquire technology for the U. S. Navy. As a result of this program ONR became aware of the potential for laser-based illumination for various naval security applications. To demonstrate this potential to various Navy organizations as quickly as possible, ONR and Ford requested TIG to develop a demonstration system. TIG delivered a system using a 40 watt laser-based illuminator and standard CCD cameras that performed extremely well. The illuminator is a completely new design with many times the output of the vehicular system illuminators that had been built for Ford’s programs. The entire system was designed, built and delivered in seven weeks, demonstrating the advantages to the Navy of working within the private sector industrial milieu.

The 40 watt unit is shown in the photograph below:

An example of the performance of the unit is shown in the pictures below taken with a standard CCD security camera. The pier is about 300-400 feet from the illuminator.

pier in ambient light
pier with infrared illumination

Subsequently a newly formed company, the Qualume Corporation, has begun producing several types of commercial units for various markets based on this technology under license from Ford. TIG develops these designs for Qualume.

One product line which Qualume has in production are ruggedized infrared floodlights that outperform anything on the market. A 20 watt unit and a 5 watt unit are shown in the photos below. A number of other laser-based illuminators are in development at TIG.

Case History #1: Laser-Based Vehicle Lighting

Case History #2: Light Valves For Remote Lighting Systems

Case History #3: Signal Lights In Side View Mirrors
Case History #4: Laser-based Night Vision for Vehicles
Case History #5: Laser-based Night Vision for Security and Surveillance