BAE Systems unveils ultra-low-light image sensor, enabling night vision in overcast starlight conditions

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BAE Systems, Inc. has unveiled its back-illuminated HWK1411 “Hawkeye” ultra-low-light image sensor (BSI), delivering market-leading night vision capabilities with reduced size, weight and power . The 1.6 megapixel sensor provides high-performance imaging capabilities in all lighting conditions and is optimal for battery-powered soldier systems, unmanned platforms, and targeting and surveillance applications.

The HWK1411 is the first low-light Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) sensor to capture images in overcast starlight conditions. It combines a large photon collection array with world-class light sensitivity (quantum efficiency), the ability to see small changes in contrast (low readout noise), and reduced signal noise from electricity ( low dark current).

“HWK1411 replaces larger, more cumbersome legacy technology and takes the military market into the digital realm, paving the way for next-generation systems for the future,” said Robyn Decker, director of sensor solutions at BAE Systems. “Capturing digital images is the first step toward delivering data fusion and augmented reality technology that will transform the way warfighters perceive the battlespace in extremely low-light conditions.”

In addition to the Hawkeye sensor, the company has developed a compact Multi-Chip Camera Module (MCM) to simplify camera integration. The MCM combines the HWK1411 image sensor with a microprocessor, flash memory, power conditioning, a flexible cable for plug-and-play connectivity, and a high-performance glass lens for optimal field of view.

For more information on BAE Systems’ sensor solutions, visit:

Michael C. Garrison