MKS Announces Ophir® Low-SWaP MWIR Lenses for Drone and Small Gimbal Applications

MKS Instruments, Inc., a global provider of enabling technologies that transform our world, has announced the Ophi LightIR 10-135mm and 18-225mm MWIR f/3.6 continuous zoom lenses, the newest additions to the LightIR family of low SWaP (Size, Weight, and Power), high-performance, motorized continuous zoom lenses. Introduced at SPIE Defense and Commercial Sensing 2023, these lightweight, compact, thermal imaging lenses are optimized for smaller size VGA 10µm FPA (focal plane array) IR detectors.

LightIR 10-135 f/3.6. Image Credit: MKS Instruments

The LightIR 10-135mm and 18-225mm MWIR f/3.6 lenses feature a compact design with reduced optical elements that significantly decreases the length and weight of the lens and, therefore, the overall size and weight of the optical system in which it is incorporated. The LightIR 10-135mm lens weighs only 250gr, making it 20% smaller than similar lenses and the smallest continuous zoom lens on the market today. The LightIR 18-225mm lens weighs only 300gr, making it also significantly smaller than similar lenses.

Along with a detection range exceeding 11km (10-135mm lens) and 15km (18-225mm lens), these new LightIR lenses are ideal for the demanding requirements of SWaP and small gimbal thermal imaging applications, such as drones and tactical UAV IR cameras, as well as micro/mini-tactical payloads in the commercial, homeland security, and defense markets.

"The LightIR 10-135mm and the 18-225mm f/3.6 zoom lenses address the new market shift to smaller form factors,” said Dr. Kobi Lasri, General Manager, Ophir Optics Group. "The new zoom lenses combine low-SWaP capabilities, with long EFLs, a detection range over 15km, and cost-effective pricing for 10µm VGA IR sensors. This makes these lenses an enabler for advanced drone, UAV, and small gimbal thermal imaging applications.”

With NFOV of 2.7° (10-135mm lens) and 1.6° (18-225mm lens), the innovative design of the Ophir LightIR 10-135mm and 18-225mm f/3.6 lenses enables near diffraction-limit performance in harsh environments. This design also addresses such challenges as line-of-sight (LOS) stabilization, athermalization, maintaining focus throughout the entire zoom range, and high imaging performance. The mechanical and electrical interface of the lens assures easy integration into camera systems. 

Source: https://www.mks.com/

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