MKS introduces UAV lenses


US-based MKS Instruments announced the latest addition to its family of Ophir LightIR low-SWaP, high-performance, motorized continuous zoom lenses during Eurosatory 2022 in Paris on 13-17 June. Company officials told Shephard that the new 18-225mm MWIR f/4 thermal imaging lens is optimized for installation on relatively small platforms.

It comes in a 10µm SXGA/HD focal plane array (FPA) and 15µm VGA FPA detector. The lens features a compact design with reduced optical elements that results in a significantly reduced weight and size when compared to previous models. It weighs just 326g, which would be ideal for gimbal-based thermal imaging applications on drones and tactical UAV IR cameras.  ‘The new zoom lens combines low-SWaP capabilities, a detection range over 16+km and cost-effective pricing,’ said Dr Kobi Lasri, GM of Ophir Optics Group.

The new model enables near diffraction-limit performance in harsh environments and addresses challenges such as line-of-sight stabilization, athermalization (optothermal stability to maintain focus throughout the entire zoom range) and high imaging performance.

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