Ultra-lightweight Thermal Sight

Client : Department of National Defence
Industries: Defense, Security and Aerospace
Technologies: Infrared Bolometer Detector, Infrared Camera Module


Today, soldiers have to carry increasingly heavy loads. That’s why Canada’s Department of National Defence wanted access to a state-of-the-art, ultra-lightweight device capable of identifying long range targets day and night.

  • Ultra-lightweight Thermal Sight
  • Photo: Department of National Defence
  • Photo: Department of National Defence
  • optical specifications table


In light of these requirements, our team of researchers designed and developed a robust thermal sight based on an innovative, ultralight catadioptric lens integrated with a standard INO IRM160A infrared detector to make a robust, energy efficient system. Operational day and night, this infrared targeting device can identify a target at a great distance using an oversampling system and send relevant information to the local command center by digital RF link. The new device, which is adapted for operation in hostile environments, fulfills all the client’s requirements.


The detection capability of the new infrared targeting device is assured by a wide angle Schmidt-Cassegrain catadioptric digital lens with a field of vision of 9.5º x 7.2º and an F/# of 0.96 (specification designed by INO). It also features a microscanning system that operates through active micro-inclination of the secondary mirror. It also features a multifunctional FPGA with integrated processor for image enhancement, which delivers an actual resolution of 320 x 240 pixels and a noise equivalent temperature difference (NETD) of 100 mK. Weighing in at only 1.1 kg for a volume of 1.6 L, this device can transfer data over distances of up to 2 km and has an autonomy of over 5 hours at temperatures ranging from –30°C to +40°C.

See the optical specifications table

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