Rugged CCD and CMOS Camera Design

Heat, Cold, Shock and Vibration: Check!

Environmental conditions (sample values)
Temperature range: -55°C to +85°C
Altitude: 50,000 ft (116 mbar)
Humidity: Cycles between 95% / 65°C and 85% / 38°C (for 16 hours)
EMI (emissions): 30 Hz up to 18 GHz
EMI (susceptibility): 30 Hz up to 18 GHz
Lightning, indirect effect: up to 1600 V / 107 A
Shock: 40 g / 10 ms
Vibration: 6 grms, 5-2000 Hz
De-Icing: Heating system with sapphire glass


Even at its founding in 1978, Kappa specialized in the development and construction of application-specific CCD and CMOS camera series for extreme environmental environments such as cameras with extreme resistance to shock, vibration and temperature for aerospace, military vehicles and industrial conditions and even extremely EMC resistant cameras for high-voltage equipment.

The entire electromagnetic design of these so-called Rugged cameras is subjected to a hardening process. The resistant housing is only the outer shell; in addition, a specialized circuit design with a targeted component selection lies within.


Protective Coating for Rugged Video Cameras

 Visual check of coating under UV light, rugged cameras by Kappa optronics

Visual check of coating under UV light, rugged cameras by Kappa optronics

To increase Rugged cameras’ robustness, Kappa adds protective coatings to component assemblies und boards.

This creates an additional process step in the manufacturing of cameras that are exposed to especially adverse environmental conditions. The coating protects against moisture, temperature change, vibration, dirt, gases, liquids and acid. It prevents corrosion, voltage flashovers, solder joint stress and resistance reduction. It extends the cameras’ life expectancy with higher resistance. Here as well Kappa relies on highly qualified partners who perform their services to required standards and requirements for protective coatings (such as IPC-CC-830, MIL-I-46058), using solvent-free, UV-cured materials for robust, durable coatings.

COTS - Commercial Off The Shelf

COTS Lager

If components are “only” being installed at the level of the industry standard, a special technical design (using heat sinks and shock absorbers, for example) provides the necessary hardening.
Using a combination of standard components available on the market (COTS – commercial off the shelf) and Kappa know-how, basic development is not necessary. Using high scalability, long-term availability, and Rugged Design, Kappa connects COTS components to cost-optimized solutions.

Analyzed, verified, validated: Examples for tests with extremely resistant cameras

Random Vibration Test

Random Vibration Test

Random Vibration Test

The random vibration test uses a mixture of different frequencies within a specified frequency range to mechanically stimulate the test object.
The applicable standard also defines amplitude and frequency for this test. For example, a device at the empennage of an aircraft with a turbofan engine has to be tested according to a specific curve.

Lightning Strike Test

Aircraft are struck by lightning on average approximately every 1000 flight hours. To ensure product safety, cameras for use in and on airplanes must undergo lightning strike tests. Aviation cameras are tested on indirect lightning strikes. This area of aviation is subject to drastic change since, due to the increasing use of new, lighter materials (such as carbon), effective protection of the Faraday cage is often no longer available. Lightning currents then flow via electronics and cables.


Lightning Electromagnetic Pulse Tests

Oscillogram for waveform 31 MHz Test (injected voltage), LEMP camera test Kappa optronics

Oscillogram for waveform 31 MHz Test (injected voltage), LEMP camera test Kappa optronics

In LEMP (Lightning Electromagnetic Pulse) tests, protection against damage from electromagnetic impulses must be demonstrated. Kappa cameras are tested in lightning-induced transient tests up to 1600 V/107 A. Our tests are performed by the EMCC Dr. Rašek laboratory.

More about tests

Videos ED 112 Vibration Test