Optics

March 2, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood

The U.S. Marine Corps selected Wixom, Michigan-based Trijicon to deliver Squad Common Optic Systems for use with infantry assault rifles, including the M27, M4 and M4A1. Under the $64 million indefinite-delivery, indefinite quantity firm fixed contract, the company will produce 19,000 units of the optic technology.

Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC), the contracting authority, will begin fielding the tool to Fleet Marine Forces beginning in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021 and through 2023, MCSC reported on February 24.

June 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
U.S. companies are building laser communications networks that offer low latency, security, speed and global coverage.  Thales Alenia Space

Laser communications, also called optical communications, is not a new capability. The photon- or light-based technology relies on lasers to transmit data through space by satellite. Experts venture that optical communications will provide unprecedented communication speeds, security, reliability and low latency. The capability’s high-data rates apply to ground, air and space applications, making it a versatile tool. For warfighters, this technology offers an alternative to traditional radio frequency-based communications.

June 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Europe has a laser communications system in operation, the SpaceDataHighway. Credit: Airbus

While American companies are working to build a laser communications infrastructure and market, Europe already has a laser communications system in operation, the SpaceDataHighway. The system can transfer customers’ imagery, video, voice and other data from Earth observation satellites, manned aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicles via optical communication geostationary earth orbit (GEO) relay satellites, explains Justin Luczyk, director of business development for Airbus Defense and Space Inc.

March 7, 2019
 

Optics 1 Inc., Bedford, New Hampshire, is awarded a $12,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract action for production, repair, and engineering support services for the ground based operational surveillance system light optical camera. The primary work is to manufacture and deliver a tripod mounted electro-optical and infrared sensor that provides both daylight and night vision imagery for detecting, classifying, and identifying targets to be mounted on a variant of the ground based operational surveillance system. Work will be performed in Bedford, New Hampshire, and is expected to be complete by March 2024.

August 2002
By Henry S. Kenyon

Super-sensitive imaging systems cover new ground.

In the near future, laser-based detection systems will allow military aircraft to identify enemy ground vehicles accurately in battle zones and permit spacecraft and robotic vehicles to navigate safely through unfamiliar terrain. The technology is built around highly sensitive optical detectors that measure minute amounts of reflected laser light. These systems do three-dimensional modeling of scanned objects in real time, offering missile defense systems the capability to differentiate between re-entry vehicles and decoys.

August 2002
By Henry S. Kenyon

Scientists seek to provide computers with greater understanding of dynamic visual data.

Advances in visual processing may soon allow robot vehicles to travel autonomously across battlefields and city streets. Researchers are developing mathematical models that offer insight into how mechanical and biological systems interpret images for movement and navigation. The answers will provide a key to designing more sophisticated automated guidance systems for commercial and military use.