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News

Long focal length IR lens order

StingRay Optics : 16 May, 2008  (Application Story)
StingRay Optics to deliver lens assembly for broadband imaging with long focal length and high image quality.
StingRay Optics was recently awarded a contract to design and deliver an 800mm Focal Length F/4.0 Catadioptric Lens Assembly. The lens assembly is optimised for broadband imaging with the newest large format focal plane arrays (FPAs). The custom F/4.0 lens as designed features an operational field of view (FOV) up to 36mm. The long focal length solution will provide superior image quality from the mid-wave infrared (MWIR) to the long-wave infrared (LWIR), specifically from 3 to 12 microns.

StingRay Optics' catadioptric lens design with its compact geometry provides distinct advantages over conventional, all-refractive lens configurations. Long focal length systems require large aperture optics which increase raw material and production costs. StingRay's solution incorporates a 9in diameter primary mirror in lieu of the traditional refractive optical elements of similar size. The reflective design significantly reduces material and manufacturing costs while shortening the delivery cycle associated with the exotic refractive optical elements of equivalent diameters. Additionally, the use of reflective elements will greatly reduce image degradation associated with operating temperature fluctuations often found in refractive-style designs.

Christopher Alexay, StingRay Optics' Chief Optical Designer, notes, "We're very pleased to be awarded this innovative 800mm large format lens design project for MIT Lincoln Labs. Our talented and experienced engineering team has methodically considered design alternatives in order to execute a design that meets our customers' expectations, Stingray's team determined that the catadioptric method is ideal for a broadband application because it offers maximum transmission for the entire operating waveband and for that reason, this approach will best serve our customer."

The design and development phase began April 28, 2008; delivery of the 800mm Focal Length F/4.0 Catadioptric Lens Assembly is scheduled for mid-July, 2008.
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