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Jenoptik expands military laser rangefinder capabilities in the US

30 Jun 2020

Adding custom engineering and testing to Jupiter, FL, facility; adding to LRF range in 2020.

Jenoptik Optical Systems, LLC, based in Jupiter, Florida, has announced an expansion of its capabilities for military laser rangefinders (LRF).

With the stated aims of “maintaining technological superiority and enhancing support of military customers”, Jenoptik is increasing its US presence by adding custom engineering and testing capabilities to its Jupiter, Florida facility as well as adding to their LRF product portfolio in 2020 (see additions below).

“As we continue to expand our North American operations, we are investing in differentiating technologies, advanced equipment and employees,” commented Jay Kumler, President of Jenoptik Optical Systems in North America. “We are committed to meeting our customers’ expectations by giving them convenient access to our technological know-how, customized systems engineering and application solutions experience.”

For decades, Jenoptik has been developing electro-optical systems for both commercial and defense markets and currently offers two product lines of military LRFs: ELEM (“Erbium”) and DLEM (“Diode”). Both product lines operate at a nominal wavelength of 1.54µm (invisible to both the naked eye and night vision goggles). The higher-performing ELEM line utilizes a diode-pumped Erbium glass-based laser for its transmitter, while the more affordable DLEM line utilizes a diode-based transmitter.

Demand and specifications

The company says demand for its DLEM range of compact military LRFs “is growing due to an unparalleled combination of performance, size and weight.” Weighing only 33g with dimensions of 50 x 22 x 34mm, the DLEM 20 can range a man-sized target at more than 2000m. The size and performance of the DLEM 20 make it suitable for weapon-mounted, smart-sight, lightweight hand-held, and UAV applications. A brief comparison of the current DLEM product line is shown in the table below:

Current developments are focused on further miniaturization of the 2km range, man-size class LRF and on performance improvement of the current DLEM 20 specification with evaluation samples expected to become available in 2020.

LRF engineering capability has been added to the Jupiter facility to facilitate customization, improve service and will soon be capable of producing both standard and custom LRF assemblies. The development of the North American LRF range and laboratory will also allow for product characterization over military environments and permit testing against custom sets of specifications for the company's ITAR-compliant North American customers.

Jenoptik’s laser rangefinders can quickly and precisely measure the distance to “non-cooperative” targets, at up to 5000m, even under the most difficult measurement and visibility conditions. The compact and lightweight modules from the DLEM series can be integrated into handheld and weapon-mounted systems.

The solid-state laser rangefinders from the ELEM series are also compact and offer an extremely long measuring range of up to 40 km. These rangefinders are suitable for both mobile and stationary applications, such as fire control systems. Operating with a wavelength of 1.54 – 1.55µm, the devices are eye-safe and cannot be detected by conventional night vision devices equipped with image intensifiers.

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