MKS Instruments, Inc. (NASDAQ: MKSI), a global provider of technologies that enable advanced processes and improve productivity, has announced the Ophir® LightIR 16-180mm MWIR f/3.6 continuous zoom lens, the newest addition to the LightIR family of lightweight, long-range, motorized continuous zoom lenses.
The LightIR 16-180mm f/3.6 is a compact, thermal imaging lens optimized for smaller size 10µm pitch VGA FPA (focal plane array) detectors. It features a folded optics design that significantly reduces the length of the lens and, therefore, the overall size and weight of the optical system in which it is incorporated. The lens is 65% smaller than existing MWIR (medium wave infrared) 10µm VGA lenses. This makes it ideal for the demanding requirements of reduced size, weight, and power (SWaP) and small gimbal thermal imaging applications, including drones and tactical UAV IR cameras as well as micro-/mini-tactical payloads in the commercial, homeland security, and defense markets.
"The LightIR 16-180mm f/3.6 folded zoom lens addresses the new market shift toward smaller size detectors," said Kobi Lasri, General Manager of Ophir Optics Group. "With its disruptive combination of SWaP capabilities, detection range over 13+km, and cost-effective pricing, the new zoom lens is an enabler for advanced drone, UAV, and small gimbal thermal imaging applications."
According to Chris Johnson, President, Sierra-Olympic, "Once we recognized the market's movement toward low-SWaP MWIR 10μm pitch VGA FPA optical systems, we began collaborating with Ophir's R&D and Engineering teams to design an innovative and cost-effective zoom lens. Their low-SWaP 10μm pitch VGA zoom lens has allowed us to be first to market with our newest optical systems. We have worked in partnership with Ophir for years and are confident in their advanced optomechanical design and manufacturing capabilities. The end result of this partnership is that Sierra-Olympic continues to maintain its market leadership, while answering the demands for low-SWaP optical systems for long range observation, and securing significant integration opportunities in both military and commercial systems."
With a focal length of 16-180mm and an f/stop of 3.6, the latest LightIR is a compact, high-performance, motorized continuous zoom lens. The folded optics design enables long optical lengths, which produce a reduced sensitivity to tolerances in compact configurations that incorporate fewer optical elements. The innovative design also enables near diffraction-limit performance in harsh environments and addresses such challenges as line-of-sight (LOS) stabilization and athermalization. At only 460gr, it is one of the lightest weight, continuous zoom lenses on the market. It maintains sharp focus over the entire zoom range. The mechanical and electrical interface assures easy integration into camera systems.