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Proceedings Paper

Submarine periscope thermal imaging: its evolution in the UK
Author(s): George R. Armstrong
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Paper Abstract

The first submarine periscope to carry a thermal imaging sensor started sea trials in 1978. As a leading EO company and the sole supplier of periscopes to the Royal Navy since 1917, Pilkington Optronics (Barr & Stroud) has led the evolution of this technology in the UK. As is often the case, the evolutionary path has been IR detector technology- led. The first operational periscope TI system (1981) used a serial/parallel array of first generation photoconductive detectors operating in the LWIR (8 - 12 micrometer) waveband. The advent of SPRITE detectors in the 1980s opened the way to greatly improved performance within a reduced space volume, culminating in 1993 with the entry into fleet service of the SPRITE-based IR028 modular system for Vanguard, the new class of RN ballistic submarines. Today, second generation focal plane array detectors, along with the concept of the non-hull penetrating optronics mast, are ready to revolutionize periscope TI. The Pilkington Optronics CM10 Optronics Mast, presently under development, has been bid for the next class of RN submarines, Trafalgar Batch 2. CM10 exists in two versions, allowing the user to choose the operational waveband most suited to his operational needs. The sensor in the LWIR version is the PO high definition thermal imager (HDTI), which makes optimum use of SPRITEs to achieve very high performance within a compact space. The MWIR version features dual-band (TV plus 3 - 5 micrometer) optics viewing through a single pressure window; the TI sensor is based on a microscanned CMT FPA, yielding high spatial resolution and thermal sensitivity with small aperture optics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 June 1996
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2744, Infrared Technology and Applications XXII, (27 June 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.243497
Show Author Affiliations
George R. Armstrong, Pilkington Thorn Optronics Ltd. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2744:
Infrared Technology and Applications XXII
Bjorn F. Andresen; Marija S. Scholl, Editor(s)

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