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Proceedings Paper

Large-aperture broadband sapphire windows for common aperture, target acquisition, tracking, and surveillance systems
Author(s): Joel Askinazi
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Paper Abstract

State of the art optical sensing systems performing target acquisition/tracking and surveillance functions are being designed to incorporate a number of sensors into one package. These include visual and MWIR cameras, FLIRs, and laser range finders. These combined systems are being configured to view through a common aperture window. Typical window diameters are to eleven inches, but some surveillance applications have windows approaching twenty inches in diameter. These sensor windows typically operate in hostile environments including very high pressure differentials, large thermal gradients, and severe rain and sand abrasion. EMI/EMC protection and de-icing capabilities are also commonly required. For airborne applications and to minimize thermal gradients, thinner, lightweight, high strength windows are also necessary. Sapphire is an ideal window material to satisfy these requirements due to its high strength, UV-MWIR bandpass, minimal optical scatter, excellent index of refraction homogeneity and very high scratch/impact resistance. Associated optical fabrication, grid lithography and optical coating processes have been developed at Hughes Danbury for sapphire windows. This paper addresses the development of a family of large aperture, broadband sapphire windows which also provide EMI/EMC protection and de-icing capabilities. The resulting design configuration and performance characteristics are also addressed. Future technology development requirements are also discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 June 1997
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3060, Window and Dome Technologies and Materials V, (27 June 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.277046
Show Author Affiliations
Joel Askinazi, Hughes Danbury Optical Systems, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3060:
Window and Dome Technologies and Materials V
Randal W. Tustison, Editor(s)

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