- Issue Time
An infrared optical lens is an indispensable component of a UAV photoelectric load platform. Today, let’s talk about the requirements of the UAV photoelectric payload platform for infrared optical lenses.
Recently, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry is growing rapidly. Teal Group analyzed that the global UAV market share will reach $135 billion in the next ten years. The UAV market is mainly composed of defense, government, and commercial applications. In the fields of national defense and government, drones are used for military and police surveillance, border control, security, and search and rescue operations.
According to incomplete statistics, between 2009 and early 2017, at least 347 law enforcement and emergency management agencies in the United States used drones. In the commercial UAV market, demand has been continuously growing. Commercial UAVs equipped with photoelectric payloads play a prominent role in power line inspections, oil pipeline inspections, firefighting, and other infrastructure.
The photoelectric payload is an important part of the UAV system. The photoelectric payload of the UAV is generally composed of sensors such as Visible, IR, Laser, etc., to meet the all-day and all-weather use requirements of the system platform. In particular, infrared components have become a standard configuration for optoelectronic loads.
With the increasing size of the FPA array of infrared detectors, the pixel size is getting smaller and smaller, the imaging quality is good, the volume is small, the weight is light, and the infrared lens suitable for the UAV platform can maximize the imaging performance of the infrared component. The following are the specific requirements of the UAV photoelectric payload platform for infrared lenses.
Although an increase in the resolution of an infrared detector can correspondingly improve its imaging performance, if the imaging quality of the lens is not maximized, the high-resolution advantage of the detector cannot be fully released. In addition, in optics-limited systems, the imaging quality of the infrared lens is the most important indicator. Even with the best detectors, inferior infrared lenses will produce inferior images.
In order to match these high-performance infrared detectors, an infrared lens with the smallest aberration must be achieved through a more perfect design and stricter tolerance control. In addition, the focal length of the infrared lens needs to be as long as possible to improve its spatial resolution, so that the photoelectric load platform can observe the target with rich details at a long distance.
The development of the UAV photoelectric payload has its own characteristics, and its payload needs to consider size, weight, and power consumption. Especially for small commercial UAVs, the payload of UAVs has stricter requirements on the size and weight of the infrared lens. In order to maximize the flight time of the UAV, energy consumption must be reduced to reduce fuel use.
Therefore, the challenge for infrared lenses is to design and produce compact and lightweight infrared lenses on the premise that the image performance is not affected. Small size is the most critical factor.
To meet these optical requirements, technical solutions with certain characteristics are required. These technical solutions include innovative optical and mechanical designs, advanced materials, advanced optical processing technologies, and even unique lens films.
Diamond Turning technology can be used to make high-precision aspheric surfaces and diffraction surfaces with special ring zones. Optical lenses made with diamond turning technology have been widely used in infrared lenses.
The diffraction surface attached to the aspherical substrate can integrate various aberration correction capabilities, such as chromatic aberration and spherical aberration correction. In addition, diamond turning can combine multiple lens elements, thereby reducing overall size and weight.
Manufacturing high-performance infrared multi-field or infrared continuous zoom lenses is another way to reduce its size and weight. Infrared multi-field or infrared continuous zoom lenses are smaller and lighter than lenses that use multiple single fields of view. In addition, the infrared continuous zoom lens manufactured by Quanhom allows the magnification to be arbitrarily changed according to the needs during the execution of the task, which can complete the task more flexibly and better.
Durable and high-efficiency anti-reflection coating is also the key to improving the optical performance of the lens, and will not affect the size or weight of the lens. The high-efficiency anti-reflection coating reduces the transmission loss by reducing the residual reflection and can suppress the internal and external interference of the lens, and improve the image contrast.
Advanced optical coating technology can be used to produce special optical films. While improving optical performance, these films also need reliable environmental adaptability.
Excellent infrared optical solutions are the key to the UAV's optoelectronic payload platform. The infrared optical lens designed by Quanhom can maximize the image quality while having the characteristics of SWaP (size, weight, and power).
With the development of drone technology and the increase in demand for drones, infrared optical systems will continue to play an important role. If you want to know more about infrared lens knowledge or solutions after reading the above, please contact Quanhom for professional advice.
We are a professional manufacturer of optomechanical components that produce various thermal infrared lenses. We continue to develop and upgrade technologies and products. We have a professional production team and a strict quality inspection system. The infrared lenses (LWIR, MWIR, and SWIR) manufactured are widely praised by customers. At the same time, we can also provide corresponding customized services according to the actual needs of customers. If you want to buy our infrared optical lens, please contact us immediately!