Innovation Award for Color Night Vision Sensor

Brive, France – PHOTONIS is honored to announce it has received the 2015 Ingénieur Général Chanson Award. The exclusive French innovation prize is awarded annually by the French Armament Association for companies and individuals whose innovations contribute to significant operational improvements in land defence systems. PHOTONIS received the award for the development of the KAMELEON Day to Night Color Imaging Sensor.

The prestigious award was officially presented on June 2nd by General Bosser, French Army Chief of Staff, to PHOTONIS Chief Technical Officer Geoffroy Deltel and colleague Damien Letexier for the development of a color sensor that can detect images at very low light levels. Appropriately named “KAMELEON” the sensor detects and projects images in color at night levels 1 (full moon). To date, conventional night vision imaging systems can only detect monochrome (black/white) images under similar lighting conditions. The KAMELEON uses a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) similar to mobile phones, which in itself, cannot distinguish colors. To identify color, KAMELEON uses a patented innovation where two raw images and a reconstruction algorithm reproduce the final image in color in real time.

Geoffroy Deltel commented: “We are proud and honored to receive such a distinguished award for our digital night vision sensors. It confirms our commitment towards innovation and ongoing improvement of operational outcomes for end-users. The General Chanson award is also a great accolade for the efforts and dedication of our team.”

The KAMELEON technology is currently being tested in applications such as Special Forces’ stealth surveillance, digital day and night weapon sights, vehicle situational awareness, driver vision enhanced systems, helicopter pilot helmets and on drones (UAVs). It facilitates Identification Friend-Foe (IFF), target identification, and the identification of danger zones. An added advantage of Kameleon is its use in daylight and night, up to night level 3 (quarter moon with cloud cover). In lower light levels, the sensor will revert visible images to black and white.

Kameleon is part of the NOCTURN range of Day & Night sensors, camera cores and equipment that provide day and night imaging for security and defence applications, and is developed by the PHOTONIS’ Digital Imaging division.