SemiConductor Devices

Blackbird 640 - Sparrow

Low SWaP, Low Cost MWIR Video Core

Description Typical Performance Applications Configurations Downloads

The Sparrow is a low cost and low SWaP MWIR camera core designed for the demanding requirements of wide distribution market applications such as handheld thermal systems and miniature payloads for drones or long range thermal weapon system for snipers. The Sparrow uses a state-of-the-art HOT Blackbird FPA which is integrated into a compact and novel Dewar and cooler architecture. These elements are ssembled in a compact manner that also includes low power electronics. The Sparrow electronics has multiple capabilities including FPA control, cooler driver & control, and a complete set of video processing features. This 640x512 FPA is based on SCD's mature and field proven XBn (HOT) technology operating at 150K with 10μm pixel pitch. It includes a Digital readout integrated circuit (ROIC) implemented in advanced CMOS process. Combining these two elements yields outstanding image quality.

The 10μm pitch FPA overall size is about 55% smaller than common VGA solutions based on 15μm pitch pixel which enable the user to reduce the size & weight of the system optics. The combination of this miniature FPA with its high operating temperature enables optimization of the cooler and Dewar for low SWaP applications. Another important advantage of the Sparrow is its long life time that is based upon linear engine technology combined with the HOT FPA technology.


Typical Value

Sensing Material


Pitch   10µm



FPA Temperature

NETD (2Me- Cap.)

< 28mK at 50% well fill capacity

Local Residual Non Uniformity

< 0.04% STD/DR @ 10-80% well fill capacity

Integration modes 


Integration capacitors

0.9Me- ; 2.0Me-

Maximum Frame rate

60 Hz with Image Processing

180 Hz without Image Processing

Video Engine Main Processing Algorithms

NUC, BPR, Image Enhancement and DRC,

Digital Zoom, Pseudo color, Graphics ovelay

Digital signal resolution

 13 bit

Operation Modes

Full Image Processing Mode (Video Engine)

Raw Digital output (Proxy Mode)

Residual Non Uniformity

 < 0.06% STD/DR at 20-80% well fill capacity


> 99.5%

IDCA Optical Parameters

Standard F/3.6

Spectral Range: 3.6÷4.2 μm

Cooler type

Micro Cooler, Split Linear

Module MTBF

> 18,000 hours (GM @ 35°C)

Module Total Power Consumption @ 23°C

Typical 4W not including Image Processing

Additional 1WDC for full video processing

Image Ready @ 23°C

 Typical 4 minutes

Module Dimensions

58 x 62 x 42 mm (2.28” x 2.44” x 1.65”)


300 gm. (0.66 lb.)

• HandHeld Thermal Imager cameras

• Drone & Tactical UAV IR cameras

• Perimeter security

• Armored vehicle weapon stations

• Mini and micro tactical payloads

• Snipers long range TWS

Cooler Type:  Micro Cooler, Split Linear

Maximum Frame Rate: 60 Hz with Image Processing; 180 Hz without Image Processing

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