The Navy is seeking a coastal surveillance illuminator that will allow cameras to work at night. The current camera for the Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) can only see in the daytime, according to the Navy small business innovation research proposal.
However, "current electro-optic illuminators are single wavelength (band) sources that cannot illuminate the six band light spectrum required for the COBRA camera," the Navy said. "Additionally, current single band illuminators that meet the derived size, weight, and power requirements for COBRA provide insufficient illumination power for the COBRA camera field of view."
Size and power are important, because the sensor must be capable of installation on the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter. Potential solutions include Red Green Blue/Infrared (RGB/IR) lasers, assuming that technology can be matured.
Responses to the SBIR are due Feb. 18.