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Proceedings Paper

Thermal imager for dismounted infantry
Author(s): Christopher R. Bigwood; Lee Eccles; Arwyn Owen Jones; Berwyn Jones; David Lindsay Meakin; Steve Rickard; Rob Robinson
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Paper Abstract

Thermal Imager for Dismounted Infantry (TIDI), is a UK MOD / Thales Optics Ltd. joint funded technology demonstrator programme and is part of the overall programme managed by QinetiQ. The aim of this programme is to evaluate and demonstrate a cost effective route to equipping the infantry soldier with a small, lightweight, rugged, short range, weapon mounted thermal imaging sight; intended for mass deployment. TIDI is an unusual programme in that the requirement was not rigidly defined in terms of a detailed specification. Instead, the requirement was expressed in terms of the question 'What weapon sight performance can be achieved for a volume production cost of 5000 Euro?' This requirement was subject to the constraints that the sight mass should be less than 500 g and the volume should be less than 500 ml. To address the requirements of this programme, Thales Optics Ltd. have performed a detailed trade-off analysis considering alternative uncooled LWIR sensor formats and technologies. The effect of using alternative sensors on the sight cost, mass, volume, power and performance has been compared. A design study has been performed concentrating on simplification of the optics, mechanics and electronics to minimise the overall sight complexity. Based on this analysis, a demonstrator sight has been designed that is cost effective and suitable for volume manufacture, whilst still offering useful performance to the user. Six technical demonstrator units based on this design have been manufactured and evaluated. This paper will give an overview of the work completed to date on the TIDI program, including a description of the demonstrator hardware and its performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 December 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5612, Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications, (6 December 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.578489
Show Author Affiliations
Christopher R. Bigwood, Thales Optics Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Lee Eccles, Thales Optics Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Arwyn Owen Jones, Thales Optics Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Berwyn Jones, Thales Optics Ltd. (United Kingdom)
David Lindsay Meakin, Thales Optics Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Steve Rickard, Thales Optics Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Rob Robinson, Thales Optics Ltd. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5612:
Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications
Ronald G. Driggers; David A. Huckridge, Editor(s)

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