Infrared sensors play a critical role in detection, guidance, and targeting in today's military systems and warfighter
equipment, ranging from man-portable to space-borne. Although significant progress is being made in the development
of IR imagers, another important component of IR sensors has not evolved significantly-the optics. Current IR lenses
are primarily made of expensive single-crystal germanium with tedious mechanical fabrication operations that include
grinding, polishing, and edging. There is an industry wide need for lower cost and higher performance IR lenses.
Agiltron has developed a technology to directly mold IR lenses to net-shape without additional finishing operations.
This manufacturing technology produces optics with many-fold reductions in cost, size, weight, and fabrication time.
The ability to reproducibly manufacture aspheric optics with complex net-shapes reduces the number of lenses
traditionally required for imaging systems, providing aberration correction as well as system weight and size reductions.
Additionally, anti-reflective surfaces can be molded into the glass, eliminating the need for expensive AR coatings. This
technology utilizes a new chalcogenide glass material that reduces temperature induced index of refraction changes to
near zero, and has a thermal expansion coefficient similar to aluminum. The result is a new generation of low cost, high
performance and thermally robust IR lens systems.