LumaSense Technologies, a Californian company that specializes in infrared and fiber-optic sensors, has acquired InfraredVision Technology Corp. (ITC), a subsidiary of the aerospace and defense giant L-3 Communications.

ITC manufactures vanadium oxide (VOx) microbolometer detectors at its production facility in Buellton, close to Santa Barbara in California. The devices are key components in thermal imaging systems and so the acquisition will give LumaSense greater vertical integration, as well as the opportunity to expand into firefighting, security and traffic control applications.

Although it did not reveal any financial terms of the deal with L-3, LumaSense said that it would be retaining all of ITC’s employees in Buellton. LumaSense CEO Vivek Joshi said, “ITC’s people and technologies represent valuable additions to LumaSense because they fall right in line with our commitment of engineering the highest-quality products. ITC gives us greater flexibility and control in designing thermal imaging solutions.”

Core components
ITC was founded in 2000, and developed core infrared camera components based on a patent and technology license from Honeywell (see related info). Although other companies hold similar licenses, ITC’s was extended to also allow commercial aviation and domestic applications. Back in 2003, ITC began commercial delivery of its flagship product family, the 37.5 µm pitch, 320 x 240 pixel VOx microbolometer.

LumaSense’s existing technology portfolio includes sensors for monitoring temperature and gas emissions. Its commercial products include pyrometers and small fiber-optic temperature monitors, while the company also sells analytical instruments for gas monitoring based on the photoacoustic spectroscopy technique.

The ITC deal is only the latest in a series of acquisitions by LumaSense, which was founded as recently as 2005 and whose mission appears to be to consolidate the highly fragmented sensors and instrumentation sector in rapid fashion.

In August 2010, LumaSense acquired fiber-optic sensing technology developed by the Canadian company Opsens, for applications in monitoring the temperature of high-voltage power distribution equipment.

And in recent years Lumasense has acquired both the thermal imaging firm Mikron Infrared, and the fiber-optic temperature sensor company Luxtron Corporation.

Following the ITC acquisition, Lumasense says that it will now be able to build complete thermal-imaging systems for use in a broad range of applications in what it describes as the energy, emissions and industrial markets. “By vertically integrating, Lumasense will be uniquely able to offer the highest level of precision and repeatability in thermal imaging equipment, by controlling all aspects of the system,” boasted the company.

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