Orlando, Fla.-based optics maker LightPath Technologies Inc. announced today it has been awarded a multiyear, Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant from the Naval Air Warfare Center to develop less expensive molding technologies for infrared optical components. The initial grant of $80,000 and any subsequent awards will allow LightPath to expand its existing molding technology to include larger diameter lenses in the mid- and long-wavelength infrared spectrum. "Lower-cost infrared optics will enable new markets and applications in thermal imaging," said James Magos, vice president of sales and marketing for LightPath. "The US government and commercial industries are making significant investments in reducing infrared detector costs. This program is the first step in reducing the cost of optical components, which are a large factor in overall system design. The development program will enable larger infrared aspheric lenses and a broader market penetration."