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Intevac to develop SWIR high-energy laser sensor under $7M military program

24 Mar 2021

Funded by US directed energy weapons development agency, the Joint Directed Energy Transition Office.

Intevac Photonics has announced that it has been awarded a $1.8 million development contract award from the US Government's Joint Directed Energy Transition Office (DE JTO) in Albuquerque New Mexico, representing the funding for year one of a projected three-year, $7 million development effort.

In this program, Intevac will develop a Gated SWIR Sensor for High Energy Laser (HEL) 2D Fine Tracking and Adaptive Optics system applications, building on the company’s experience in its fielded LIVAR camera technology and legacy Fine Tracking / Adaptive Optics sensor technology first used on the Airborne Laser (ABL) program.

“The Gated SWIR camera developed under this program represents a return of Intevac to the rapidly-growing Directed Energy (DE) weapons systems market. DE systems are expected to become a critical component of our military’s advanced weapons systems and represent a significant future market opportunity for Intevac,” commented Timothy Justyn, executive vice president and general manager of Intevac Photonics.

“This contract award demonstrates the U.S. military’s continued commitment to Intevac’s SWIR LIVAR® technology for new systems applications,” added Wendell Blonigan, president and chief executive officer of Intevac.

Intevac's digital night-vision sensors, based on its patented Electron Bombarded Active Pixel Sensor (EBAPS) technology, provide state-of-the-art capability to the most advanced avionic fighting platforms in the U.S. Department of Defense inventory.

EBAPS technology is based on a III-V semiconductor photocathode in proximity-focus with a high resolution, backside-thinned CMOS chip anode. The electrons emitted by the photocathode are directly injected in the electron bombardment mode into the CMOS anode. Then the electrons are collected, amplified and read to produce digital video directly out of the sensor.

About Intevac

Intevac was founded in 1991 and has two businesses: photonics and thin-film equipment. In its photonics business, Intevac develops high-sensitivity digital sensors, cameras and systems primarily serving the defense industry. For example, the company provides integrated digital imaging systems for most U.S. military night vision programs.

In the thin-film equipment business, the company develops high-productivity, thin-film processing systems. Its platforms are designed for high-volume manufacturing of substrates with precise thin film properties, such as the hard drive media, display cover panel, and solar photovoltaic markets we serve currently.

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