Six years ago, BAE Systems set out to develop a world-class complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensor capable of capturing images in any lighting conditions. It delivered by creating the world’s best-performing CMOS image sensor, combining speed, resolution, dynamic range, sensitivity, and low read noise — all running simultaneously in a single sensor.
The technology is now finding its way into scientific and military markets. Already credited with helping stem a cholera epidemic in Haiti, it has been embraced by the life-science markets for use in multiple camera platforms. It’s also finding a ready market in military and commercial surveillance applications.
The company’s first high-definition scientific complementary metal oxide semiconductor (sCMOS) image sensor, the CIS1021, combines the multiple capabilities into a single sensor –something competing sensors don’t. It also allows the users to capture all the data in a scene, from the faintest to the brightest target in an image. The speed, dynamic range, and sensitivity make the sensor ideal for life science applications including live cell microscopy, drug discovery, and real-time polymerase chain reaction, as well as military applications, in solid-state low light imaging for situational awareness and surveillance where day to night imaging is paramount.
The CIS1021 can capture images at speeds up to 100 frames per second at full resolution. This allows users to collect more image information faster and allows users to track events that cannot be seen with standard sensors. When examining living cells or DNA samples, the CIS1021’s high dynamic range allows scientists to collect both weak and strong signals from the sample in the same image. This provides greater detail from bright or dim areas and captures data without damaging the sample. In security and surveillance applications, identifying the bad guy under a street light at night requires the same high dynamic range that scientists require: the ability to capture both bright and low signals simultaneously.
With this release of the newest member of the BAE Systems’ sCMOS family, original equipment manufacturer camera makers can integrate the CIS1021 sensor into a wider array of imaging devices in the scientific segment and other markets such as border security, surveillance, aerospace, defense, and medical imaging.