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General Dynamics Refines Production of Exotic Lens Material Improving Performance; Reducing Cost

NASHUA, N. H. – General Dynamics Global Imaging Technologies, a part of General Dynamics Mission Systems, has implemented a new, proprietary process providing superior adhesion of coatings on Chalcogenide glass lenses. When combined with Global Imaging Technologies’ precision diamond turning technique that shapes the lens, the entire fabrication process delivers a very precise and cost-effective solution for customers who require Chalcogenide lenses for their IR optical systems at any quantity, from one optic to thousands.  It also improves flexibility during the design, evaluation, and production of IR optical assemblies.

“The Global Imaging Technologies’ process for coating and fabricating Chalcogenide optics literally breaks the mold for producing these lenses,” said Keith Russell, Director of Global Imaging Technologies.  “We can now produce an intricate, hand-made optic at a cost that previously, could only be reached using high-volume manufacturing processes.”

The preferred material for IR optical assemblies, Chalcogenide glass maintains a consistently sharp and clear image in environments where temperature variations can be extreme; however due to the composition of the glass, coatings are challenging to apply and maintain.  Other IR lens materials may be easier to coat, yet are highly sensitive to temperature and other environmental changes, requiring additional components to compensate for environmental changes. The extra components increase design complexity, cost, weight, and maintenance requirements for fielded systems.

IR optical assemblies are used in night vision and motion control systems, thermal cameras, precision targeting optics for the military, microscopes, telescopes, and specialized medical and industrial equipment.

General Dynamics Global Imaging Technologies specializes in precision optics, gyro-stabilized cameras, precision structures and motion control products. These products are used by filmmakers, cinematographers and electronic newsgathering agencies, military, homeland security and public safety systems.
General Dynamics Mission Systems is a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD). For more information about General Dynamics Mission Systems, please visit gdmissionsystems.com and follow us on Twitter @GDMS.

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