Leonardo DRS, Inc. announced that it had been recognized with the prestigious 2023 Herschel Award for developing advanced infrared detectors for ground combat vehicles using next-generation infrared sights. The Military Sensing Symposium (MSS) Materials and Detectors Specialty Group presented the award.
Leonardo DRS was joined by two other recipients that also made significant contributions to the development of the infrared technology known as 3rd Generation Focal Plane Arrays (FPAs), that have radically improved long-range imaging capabilities for defense applications.
The new FPAs are the core of the 3rd Generation Forward Looking Infrared (3GEN FLIR) program, which enables the detection, recognition, and identification of military targets from civilian targets in operating environments and conditions. The deployment of this technology represents a long-term growth opportunity for DRS.
The Herschel Award is presented to an organization or individual who has contributed significantly to infrared device science and/or technology during the last five years. The stringent qualifications make the award a significant recognition in the defense industry’s competitive electro-optical and infrared sensor community. This is the company’s fifth Herschel Award.
“The recognition by the Military Sensing Symposium for our extensive work in the complex area of advanced sensing humbles us. The development of the 3GEN FLIR FPA has been evolving for the past decade at DRS with close collaboration with the U.S. Army to bring this critical technology to our military personnel to provide an advantage on the battlefield,” said Jerry Hathaway, Senior Vice-President and General Manager of the Leonardo DRS Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems business unit. “Our scientists, engineers, operations, and program teams have led many innovative developments, dating back to the advent of the first infrared sensors in the early 1960s, and the development of these next-generation infrared sensors continues to build on our heritage of innovation.”
The 3GEN FLIR technology combines Mid-Wave Infrared (MWIR) and Long-Wave Infrared (LWIR) sensing capabilities into a single, high-definition sensor. It enables extended range and improved situational awareness over today’s widely fielded 2nd Generation LWIR-only systems. It is a key enabler for the next generation of FLIR sights, providing significant improvements in range and resolution under a full spectrum of degraded weather and battlefield conditions.