Magazine article National Defense

Sensor Suppliers Tailor Products to Meet Evolving Military Needs

Magazine article National Defense

Sensor Suppliers Tailor Products to Meet Evolving Military Needs

Article excerpt

Makers of sensor systems and night vision technologies for the military and commercial markets displayed an array of new technologies during a recent symposium on night operations in Maui, Hawaii, sponsored by the National Defense Industrial Association.

Technologies demonstrated at the exhibition included

A compact, battery-operated infinity focus and mechanical alignment system for night vision devices by Hoffman Engineering, Stamford, Connecticut. A company spokesman says the U.S. Navy and Air Force are among its largest customers. The company is expecting future Army buys because the service owns at least eight times more night vision goggles than the sea and air services, he says. The system allows proper adjustment of all goggle parameters to be done quickly, according to the firm. It is priced at $5,500 and can be mounted on aircraft.

A Visible/infrared guide light (VIRGIL) by Sensci Corporation, Alexandria, Virginia, is used to guide aircraft in either a covert (near infrared) mode or as a visible spectrum device. It is packaged to fit in personnel's pockerts. When not used as a guide wand, it can serve as a conventional flachlight, says a spokesman. The firm also makes a night operations guide light (NOGLER) designed for covert high system is suitable as a high intensity, infrared, portable, rugged, landing-field marker.

The Boeing Electro-Optical Center, Anaheim, California, makes infrared focal planes for strategic defense, tactical systems, and commercial applications. A spokesman says the company is also manufacturing mico-machine productsincluding micro-electromechanical sensors-and uncooled focal plane arrays and modules.

Officails from Europe's largest supplier of infrared detectors, GEC-Masrconi infrared Ltd. say the company ios focusing long-term research efforts on improving the radiometeric performance of systems through structural and material properties. It is also working to reduce cost of manufacturing by eliminating labor-intensive stages.

Litton Electro-Optical Systems, Garland, Texas, recently introduced a new level of image intensifier tube performance. These improvements, says a spokesman, are based on the increased light gathering capability of a new generation of micro-channel plates that feature reduced pore size.

A Velcro-mounted finger light that is night vision goggle compatible is offered by Seitz Scientific Industries Inc. Enterprise, Alabama. The lights are used bv military pilots to be able to see inside a dark cockpit without jeopardizing their ability to remain undetected by the enemy.

Aircraft lighting systems that are night vision device compatible are also made by Control Products Corporation, Grand Prairie, Texas. …

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