Advanced Imaging

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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 10:01 AM CDT

Staying Safe

'Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance'
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By Barry Hochfelder

The U.S. Department of Defense, for example, has evolved its strategy from Cold War plans involving the former Soviet Union, to one, it explains in a 2003 report, that is "tailored to 21st century adversaries including terrorism. This shift has been prompted by the perception of a changing threat and improved technology, especially information technology. As the military services attempt to increase the agility and versatility of their weapon systems, they also see a need to increase the capabilities of military intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) to support the new weapon systems and operating methods against these new threats."

The DOD analysis went on to define those threats as "asymmetric warfare," which includes drug-trafficking, terrorism and biological warfare and that "the threats of the future are unlikely to look like the threats of the past."

Imaging technology will play a large and vital role in dealing with these threats to all of us around the world. In this issue of Advanced Imaging, our Defense and Security Special Section takes a look at some of the ways our industry is helping.

Low-light imaging is, of course, critical. It's often been said that nothing good ever happens after midnight. The bad guys like to move around at night. In many cases, the very same cameras we're using at night must work in the diverse and wide dynamic conditions of daylight, which presents its own unique challenges to electronic imaging systems. On page 6, Gareth Powell of E2V, takes a look at the innovations that are making it possible, including 4T pixel architecture, global shuttering, backside illumination and EMCCD.

On page 10, Bob Grietens of Xenics talks about how infrared technology is evolving. It's certainly a mature technology that has been widely used for many years in science, space and industry. In applications like security it faces a new set of demands, such as low power and simple networking, sometimes also low cost. He provides a solid discussion of how multispectral fusion on pan-and-tilt platform improves visual surveillance.

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