7 May 2009 A multi-spectral optical system (1.55μm and 8 - 12μm) of GASIR ®1 design and coating aspects
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Abstract
Small size and low weight are among the main drivers in modern military hand-held applications. Consequently, design-ers of such systems strive for combining multiple optical and electronic functions into the same piece of hardware. Present paper deals with the partial integration of an eye safe laser rangefinder into an optical channel for uncooled thermal imager using UMICORE's GASIR® optics. GASIR® is a chalcogenide glass with a transmission window from 0.8-15 µm, making it an effective material for use in near infrared, mid-wave infrared and far infrared applications. Due to the fact that uncooled sensors in the LWIR spectral band require optics with low f/numbers and that laser range-finders typically need a larger receiver aperture - in order to comply with the maximum range requirement - this ap-proach at first sight promises favorable synergies. However, it soon turns out that such a dual band approach makes life for the rangefinder part of the job difficult - by imposing special surface types required for achieving optical specifica-tions of the thermal channel, which may deteriorate the beam quality of the laser light as well as by introducing special coatings with potentially insufficient transmission at the specific laser wavelength. Several design versions have been developed and evaluated with the purpose of finding optimal balance between image quality of the thermal channel and the laser rangefinder performance. In this paper various optical and coating design aspects will be addressed together with the limitations of such a multi-spectral approach.
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Dusan Zadravec, John W. Franks, Kenneth A. Rogers, Alec F. Hendry, Patrick Drach, "A multi-spectral optical system (1.55μm and 8 - 12μm) of GASIR ®1 design and coating aspects", Proc. SPIE 7298, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXV, 72982L (7 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.828737; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.828737
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