News

Sapphire Optics for Remote Piloted Aircraft and Aerospace

February 13, 2020

Remote piloted aircraft, commonly called drones, are designed to go where it’s too dangerous for humans to go. IRD Glass fabricates sapphire optics for the aerospace and defense contractors that produce these amazing vehicles. 

 

We can customize every aspect of our sapphire optics to meet the precise specifications required by OEMs, including: 

 

  • Size
  • Thickness
  • Parallelism
  • Surface accuracy
  • Surface quality
  • Surface roughness
  • Thin-film coating

 

Applications of Sapphire Optics

 

Sapphire is one of the hardest, most durable, scratch-resistant materials in existence. It has a broad transmission range, UV to mid-infrared, and can be coated to cover the complete spectrum. 

 

We create sapphire windows that protect vision systems in military and civilian drones. With wildfires raging across Australia, firefighting crews are deploying firefighting drones that use sapphire windows to protect their thermal imaging systems from extreme heat. Sapphire optics are also used to protect sensitive equipment from high-speed particulates in aerospace applications. 

 

Outside of drones and aircraft, sapphire optics are used in numerous medical applications, including anesthesiology and radiometry, and security and surveillance settings. 

 

Where Partnership Meets Precision

 

For over 33 years, IRD Glass has done things that virtually no one else has with sapphire. Our engineers use state-of-the-art sapphire machining equipment to achieve exemplary parallelism and typical flatness of 1/4 wave up to 1/10 wave flatness.

 

We work in a spirit of true partnership to reduce cycle time and variations and eliminate defects and waste.  We have maintained a Zero Parts per Million (PPM) defect rate as well as a 98%+ on-time delivery rate for years.

 

Procure Sapphire Optics from IRD Glass

 

IRD Glass is a leading manufacturer of numerous sapphire components. Our sapphire machining equipment can produce custom sapphire windows up to 8″ in diameter. 

 

We are also a trusted source for stock sapphire windows. With 3 arc sec. parallelism and surface finishes of 20/10 to 80/50 scratch-dig depending on the configuration, our sapphire windows provide significant cost savings compared to custom small volume production.

 

  • Next-day shipping
  • Immediate small volume pricing, which is useful when incorporating into your own quotes/ budget

 

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