High Resolution Reconnaissance Sensor


The SWEEPIR 40 Electro Optical (EO) sensor is a self contained LRU that employs and Ultra High Resolution 450 mm focal length lens and an 8 micron coupled charge device (CCD) 12,288 pixel linear array. This combination provides exceptional image resolution over a Field of View (FOV) of 12.4 degrees resulting in excellent ground coverage together with ease of control.

Imagery is recorded on board and can be displayed on a Networked Imagery Exploitation System (NIES). The imagery may also be transmitted to the ground when suitable data linking equipment is fitted to the aircraft.

All sensors in the SWEEPIR range are fitted with internal solid-state gyro systems, which provide electronic platform motion compensation on displayed imagery.

The sensors have entered squadron service with a number of front line air forces including the Royal Air Force and others worldwide.


  • Simultaneous High Resolution & Wide Field of View
  • High Dynamic Range
  • Compact, Lightweight & Robust
  • Ease of Platform Integration
  • High Reliability for Persistent Operations
  • Visual Band & Near Infra-Red Operation
  • In-service & Combat Proven
  • Multi Role Reconnaissance Applications:
    • Low Level
    • Medium Level
    • Stand off
    • Patrol 
  • Exceptional Image Quality


  • Podded Systems
  • UAVs
  • Custom Inboard Installations
  • Border Surveillance
  • Maritime Patrol
  • Route Clearance
  • Strategic Asset Monitoring
Features & Benefits
  • Flexible Mission Profiles:
    • Low level (200 ft)
    • Medium altitude (20,000 ft)
    • Speed (<100 knots to >600 knots)
  • High dynamic range:
    • Excellent performance through haze and dust
    • Shadow & adverse weather penetration
    • 24/7 imagery
  • High reliability:
    • Long endurance missions

NADIR to long range stand-off

Thales Group - Air Group Gallery Sweepir40 diagram


When installed in a pod the sensor rotation module enables the SWEEPIR 40 sensor to be pointed anywhere across the track of the aircraft from one horizon to the other. In this way, the pod is capable of performing both the Stand-Off and Tactical Reconnaissance roles.

Linear CCD Operating Principle

The CCD array scans at a rate of typically 1800 lines per second for the SWEEPIR 40 Sensor, which combined with the forward motion of the aircraft builds up a picture on a line-by-line or ‘push-broom’ principle. The Field of View of the lens fitted to the sensor determines the ground coverage and resolution of the image recorded.