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  • Writer's pictureGlobal Military Communications

Ophir Optics utilizes high precision optical components & large mirrors with outstanding quality

large optical mirrors for long range observation and multi-spectral vision imbedded in a long-range multi-spectral electro-optic payload system.

Along with HUGE live demo of hi-res thermal imaging video we’ll present at out booth, we are proud to be showcasing our high-end IR components for the first time at the DSEI 2019, which include large mirrors and lenses, domes and prisms. These products demonstrate our advanced manufacturing expertise and capabilities that, together with our skill in optical design and engineering, allow us to deliver high precision optical components with unparalleled performance.

Ophir’s advanced optical components have a proven track-record in the combat field, and are integrated in the leading infrared thermal imaging systems of a wide range of defense applications, including airborne, security and surveillance, navigation, target acquisition, missile guided systems, naval, and weapon sights. These components are designed for a wide range of optical wavelengths including VIS, SWIR, MWIR and LWIR.

In order to meet the strict defense applications specifications, Ophir employs cutting-edge technologies, such as advanced CNC grinding, polishing, diamond turning, centering and coating - all performed in-house, for an end-to-end solution with strict QA procedures throughout the entire manufacturing process.

Case Example: Manufacturing high performance large mirrors for multispectral and long-range surveillance applications

Large mirrors are a critical aspect of numerous optical systems and are used in a wide variety of commercial and defense applications. For the production of high performance large mirrors, optical manufacturers are tasked with the challenge of meeting a strict set of requirements.

When it comes to long range multi-spectral optical systems, large mirrors play an integral role. Such optical systems are used for defense applications, surveillance and monitoring, as well as for certain commercial applications. For example, large mirrors may be integrated in the optical systems of aircraft like large UAVs. The most commonly recognized applications of large mirrors are in the aerospace industry – for satellites and telescopes.

A multispectral electro-optical system is a day/night system that provides, for example, 20” payload performance in a 15” payload. The heart of such a payload is a multispectral imaging system, which combines multiple optical channels into one, allowing significantly improved performance without increasing size and weight – all thanks to large optical mirrors. The multispectral systems provide high performance during the day, at night, and under the harshest weather conditions. They are suitable for land, naval, and aerial payload platforms.

In multispectral optical systems like these, large mirrors play a critical role. Large mirrors perform to a high level across a wide range of wavelengths: VIS, NIR, SWIR, MWIR and LWIR, both for imaging and laser-based applications (laser range finders (LRF) and laser designators). The mirrors reflection angles are identical for all wavelengths and, therefore, all optical channels can be combined, creating the multispectral system. The mirrors are also the key enabler for a folded optics design that reduces the size of the multispectral system. Moreover, large mirrors for multispectral applications must have minimum roughness, especially when they are used in VIS wavelength to prevent light from scattering.

Reflective systems are also commonly of long focal length and meant for long distance surveillance, possibly tens of kilometers. Reflective telescopes may use one or more on-axis or off-axis mirrors to produce high resolution images. Many telescopes, as well as other optical systems using large mirrors, are catadioptric systems that use a combination of lenses and curved mirrors – this maximizes error correction, allowing for a wider field of view.

At DSEI 2019, Ophir will be showcasing our large (>270 mm) telescopic mirrors, designed for multispectral and long-range optical systems. From design through manufacturing, we maintain quality throughout the production process, ensuring that the mirrors will sufficiently meet strict performance specifications with tolerances up to 2nm RMS roughness and 0.5Fr P-V surface figure.

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