Unlocking the Future of Low-SWaP Thermal Imaging: Design Challenges and Performance

Sep 20, 2023
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About This Webinar
Nissim Asida reviews recent breakthroughs in IR zoom lens development, addressing the demanding requirements for reduced size, weight, and power (SWaP) while enabling high-resolution vision and long-range detection in harsh environmental conditions and constrained platforms such as airborne and handheld systems. This presentation discusses the performance and design challenges of advanced folded optics and lightweight zoom lenses optimized for next generation IR thermal imaging systems and applications.

To fully utilize advances in IR detector technology, for example reduced pixel size and increased number of pixels, the quality of the optical lens assembly must be improved significantly. The key challenge is to design and manufacture compact and lightweight lenses that deliver a crisp, clean image throughout the entire zoom range with a modulation transfer function (MTF) close to the diffraction limit while maintaining full performance at all environmental conditions.

To meet these requirements, Asida explores advanced IR materials with aspheric and diffractive surfaces for a reduced number of elements, athermal designs, folded optic configurations, innovative mechanical designs, and cutting-edge production and testing technologies. He demonstrates these technologies with several advanced zoom lenses that are designed and manufactured for next-generation IR detectors and thermal imaging applications with constrained platforms. Such zoom lenses open new opportunities in advanced UAV, handheld thermal imagers, and small gimbal thermal imaging applications.

*** This presentation premiered during the 2023 Photonics Spectra Infrared Optics Summit. For more information on Photonics Media conferences and summits, visit

About the presenter

Nissim AsidaNissim Asida, Ph.D., is the research and development and engineering director of Ophir Optics, an MKS Brand. With a history of working in the electro-optics and electronics manufacturing industry, Asida is skilled in thermal imaging, laser systems, electro-optics, R&D, and physics. He has been working with electro-optics for about 30 years and has spent more than two decades with Ophir. Prior to that, he worked in Elbit’s electro-optics division as project manager. He earned his doctorate in nonlinear optics and lasers from Bar-Ilan University.
Opticslensesinfraredinfrared opticsZoom LensesSWaPthermal imagingMaterials
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