Expendable Electro-Optic Infrared Camera System
Award last edited on: 5/27/2008

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
DOD : Navy
Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Solicitation Topic Code
Principal Investigator
Charles E Hamilton

Company Information

B E Meyers & Company Inc

9461 Willows Road NE
Redmond, WA 98052
   (425) 881-6648
Location: Multiple
Congr. District: 01
County: King

Phase I

Contract Number: N68335-06-C-0157
Start Date: 2/15/2006    Completed: 8/15/2006
Phase I year
Phase I Amount
The Navy has a need for low-cost cameras to be used in disposable UAV’s for maritime reconnaissance. B.E. Meyers offers a suite of three cameras, enabling viewing anytime in a 24-hr day, in all sorts of weather conditions. For low-scattering environments, including rain or mist, ultra-sensitive CCD’s, with electronic shuttering capability and an optional LED illuminator, enable imaging under conditions ranging from daylight to overcast starlight. In high-scattering, low-visibility conditions, such as fog, a low-cost microbolometer LWIR camera images by detecting thermal signatures of the scene. All cameras are able to identify humans easily, and recognize or identify small weapons. The cameras are electronically imaged stabilized using chip-level gyros to sense three orthogonal rotations. Averaged, camera costs remain below $1.5K. Cameras are cradled in a pan & tilt mechanism that has a mirror to define the viewing direction. The complete pan/tilt/zoom camera package occupies a 2.5" diameter cylindrical space, and weighs 2 lbs., conforming to Coyote UAV requirements. Among proposed activities are: 1) lab and field testing of all camera systems, with comparison to standard CCDs and Gen III night vision, 2) shake testing of an gyro-stabilized camera, and 3) Preliminary Design development leading into Phase II.

First, the Navy will be able to use these disposable cameras to assess threat situations anytime during a 24-hour day, in all sorts of weather conditions. Within other branches of the military, the cameras can be used for such missions as IED detection, which is a top problem in Army. Very big markets for low-cost cameras are anticipated for surveillance of our borders and ports, with the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard being end users. In civilian markets, law enforcement surveillance has the best market potential, likely being on the scale of border and port security.

Low-cost, Disposable, Pan/Tilt/Zoom, ultra-sensitive CCD, UAV, LWIR, image stabilized, surveillance

Phase II

Contract Number: N68335-07-C-0273
Start Date: 5/21/2007    Completed: 5/24/2010
Phase II year
Phase II Amount
The objective of this program is to develop expendable day/night EO and thermal cameras for SL-UAVs. The cameras are to view objects ranging in size from 200 ft vessels to 6 inch lettering. The EO camera is based on an ultra-sensitivity CCD, a laser-diode illuminator, and a compact 16x zoom. It is capable of viewing all objects in both day and night vision to 1000 ft. The camera is less than 3 inches long, and will weigh less than 5 oz. The thermal camera is based on a microbolometer array, and a novel lens system with wide and narrow FOV settings. The capabilities range from recognizing people at 500 ft to imaging vessels from the same distance. Prototypes to be constructed for each camera will be integrated with a gimbal and data link, developed by others, to form final payloads. Cameras will be tested for imaging over appreciable ranges, night vision, shock, vibration, and thermal cycling prior to delivery. Following delivery, cameras will be flight tested, first on non-SL-UAV platforms, then on SL-UAVs. The purpose is to demonstrate observation of specific objects while in flight, and to refine structural and control details. Prototypes will be usable on other platforms.

Day/Night Camera, Illuminator, Thermal Imaging, High Resolution, Suav, Compact, Lightweight, Low-Cost