AN/AAQ MWIR Staring Sensor

The AN/AAQ-27A allows pilots to see through darkness, smoke, haze, and adverse weather.

The AAQ-27A is a third-generation, mid-wavelength infrared (MWIR) imaging system that is in production for the U.S. Marine Corps' V-22 Osprey. It allows Osprey pilots to see through darkness, smoke, haze, and adverse weather.

The system incorporates a state-of-the-art MWIR indium-antimonide (InSb) staring focal plane array with 480 x 640 detector elements. It has demonstrated superb image quality and range performance using nondevelopmental, in-production components to provide higher resolution imagery than current long-wavelength infrared systems. In addition, the staring sensor eliminates the moving parts needed for scanning infrared sensors, providing higher reliability that is estimated to be about 50 percent greater than that of earlier generation systems. Without the scanning mechanism — typically a scanning mirror and associated electronics — the staring sensor is smaller and lighter. The total system weighs less than 90 pounds, including about 50 pounds for the turret.

An AAQ-27A retrofit kit allows the upgrade of fielded first-generation long-wavelength AAQ-16B systems. The nondevelopmental items and design reuse features incorporated into this high performance FLIR allow fielded systems to be easily retrofitted.

The AAQ-27A (3 FOV) is a three fields-of-view version of the AAQ-27A. It is in production for the Royal Australian Navy's Super Seasprite and Seahawk helicopters. This version enables pilots to fly and navigate on low-level missions or detect and identify long-range targets from higher altitudes.