Lens design considerations for military applications

Precision optics are used in many areas of military operations, from vision systems and target designators used by personnel on the ground, through guidance systems used in both manned and unmanned aircraft, to reconnaissance and surveillance packages carried by satellites in Earth orbit.

Lens design considerations for military applicationsWhen designing optics for military applications you will inevitably come up against some quite onerous environmental tests that the lens will have to survive. Producing a lens or optical system for military use requires careful consideration of its resistance to vibration, shock, temperature, and water ingress as well as ensuring high reliability and top performance.

Designing lenses to survive and maintain image quality and mechanical movement in the typically challenging environment of a military application is not something you can leave to theoretical analysis alone. For a lens or optical system to survive the challenges of helping collect high quality images from a piece of military equipment – requires that suppliers undertake rigorous environmental testing to minimize the possibility of failure in operation.

Creating a lens or optical system able to survive these environmental challenges does not just entail beefing up the metal work. The optical and mechanical designers must work together to ensure the best design to meet all aspects of the customer specification is met. At Resolve Optics we take every precaution possible to ensure our lenses and optical systems are optically and mechanically designed to withstand the specific environmental challenges of your military application.

This involves using the advanced stress analysis tools in our 3D CAD software to identify and design out any areas of weakness. Once we have a design that is as rugged as possible, we will then test the lens on our in-house vibration and shock test equipment. Using the correct vibration profile enables us to simulate the conditions the lens will need to survive in your military application. Once the resultant lens has been produced, we can undertake temperature and ingress and pressure (IP) testing at our partner test facility.

Producing a rugged lens or optical system optimised for your military application is a complex task. However, our team of experienced optical, mechanical, and electronic engineers and designers have a proven record of producing top quality, robust fixed focus and zoom lenses and high-performance optical systems for even the most challenging military and defence applications.

To discuss a lens design for your military product, click here.