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Navy OKs Multispectral Imager Contract

Photonics Spectra
Oct 2001
Stephanie A. Weiss

LAKEHURST, N.J. -- The Naval Air Warfare Center has awarded Optics 1 Inc. a five-year, $25 million contract to develop an advanced multispectral optical surveillance system.

The system will add short-wave infrared (1 to 2.5 µm) and advanced sensors to a multispectral imager that the company developed under earlier US Navy contracts. Under the Phase III Small Business Innovation Research contract, Optics 1 is scheduled to deliver the first unit in March 2003 at a cost of $4.8 million.

In a Phase I Navy project, Optics 1 developed a 5.5X afocal IR zoom lens with two microprocessor-controlled moving parts and a look-up table that compensates for thermal defocus and close-range focusing.

The lens became part of the demonstration multiband sensor system device that the company built (and the Navy flight-tested) under a Phase II contract. That sensor system provides simultaneous visible, mid-IR (3 to 5 µm) and far-IR (8 to 14 µm) long-range imaging using 7-in.-diameter Cassegrain collecting optics.

The infrared zoom lens and linear-precision-bearing configuration also became part of a Northrop Grumman Corp. simulator for testing missiles, and for other military commercial and industrial systems.

Optics 1 is a private optical design, engineering and production company based in Westlake Village, Calif.

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