Navitar Celebrates 60 Years of Military Applications

Navitar, Inc.'s cutting edge optical technology dates back over 60 years when the company's founder, David Goldstein, pioneered his way into the optics industry. Originally forming Elgeet Optical in 1946, Goldstein set out to make innovative optics for the most revolutionary applications and industries. His decision to develop and manufacture optical technologies for Military applications was fundamental in establishing the Navitar name brand. Today, Navitar continues to develop product lines to meet changing technological advancements and is one of the most recognized and respected names in the optics industry.

Mr. Goldstein first launched the Navitar brand in 1954 with the Elgeet-Navitar 259 mm lens designed for use by the United States Navy's CZR-1 missile tracking camera. Using the 259 mm lens, the CZR ribbon frame camera tracked the missile during the first 1,000 feet of launch and provided photographs of the missile along a predetermined flight path. CZR-1 cameras were used for years in ballistic missile testing programs and were still being used in 1986 by NASA to compile photographic data on the Space Shuttle Challenger accident.

In 1960, the Elgeet-Navitar 8 mm f/1.5 wide angle lens was introduced. The 8 mm lens was produced exclusively for TIROS-1, the world's first Television and Infrared Observation Satellite designed by NASA and the United States Department of Defense. Satellite pictures of the Earth revolutionized the science of storm prediction and opened up vast possibilities for the use of aerial surveillance for military purposes.

Today, Navitar, Inc. is comprised of a network of companies that design, develop, manufacture and distribute precise optical and electro-optical technologies and systems. All three divisions, Navitar Machine Vision, Navitar Presentation Products and Navitar Special Optics, produce optics widely used for military, defense and homeland security applications. Below are just a few examples of these:

  • The Metric Zoom, originally developed by Navitar's Special Optics division, is a 750 mm to 3800 mm ultra-long range surveillance lens which provides a continuous motorized zoom for tracking objects at a distance from 0.7 km to over 100 km. The lens has the ability to image high speed events and conditions at locations that are far removed from the observer and is used for weapons testing, shuttle tracking, missile tracking, and homeland security applications.
  • Navitar's low magnification NMV video lenses are integrated into inspection systems used to test goggles and special glasses for Military use.
  • • Navitar's SWIR lenses are used with InGaAs cameras for night vision, laser tracking, aerial surveillance, and target and facial recognition applications.
  • High Definition ScreenStar conversion projection lenses are used in training and flight simulators to provide a large field of view and high resolution images. HD ScreenStars are also incorporated into Rapid Tactical Operations Centers to project the widest images possible within a small, confined area.
  • • NuView Replacement projection lenses, which provide pixel to pixel resolution and highly detailed images, are used to project geographical maps, tactical data and training presentations for homeland security efforts.
  • Custom optical systems have been developed for 360 degree panoramic surveillance, UAV and military robotics applications, just to name a few.

Jeremy Goldstein, Co-president of Navitar, comments, “My brother Julian and I are proud to carry on the legacy of innovation created by our father and without a doubt, Navitar will stay progressive and continue to provide leading-edge optical technologies to the US Military and commercial companies well into the next generation”.


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