Variable Magnification Clip-On Thermal Imager (COTI)

Period of Performance: 08/28/2012 - 02/28/2013


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Diffraction, Ltd.
186 Mad River Park
Waitsfield, VT 05673
Principal Investigator


Clip-On Thermal Imagers (COTIs) have greatly increased the utility of night vision goggles (NVGs). Fusion of thermal and image intensified imagery has improved the warfighter's ability to quickly detect and then target or record potential targets and threats. Current generation COTIs are unity magnification systems optimized to work with unity magnification optical systems. Modifying the design of the COTI to add thermal magnification while maintaining alignment of the fused imagery and minimizing loss of resolution, contrast, and sensitivity will make it possible to equip high and/or variable magnification optical systems with a Clip-On Thermal Imager. In Phase I, Diffraction LTD and its partner Optics 1 will identify viable concepts for achieving a Variable Magnification Clip-On Thermal Imager (VM-COTI), analyze the performance of those conceptual designs, and analyze the performance impact on the optical systems that they ll be used with. The analysis will quantify the expected performance of the various VM-COTI designs with regards to a number of key performance parameters. The optimal design will be identified and pursued in a follow-on Phase II effort.