New Spinel and ALON Optics for UAVs

The optics are transparent in spectral regions where glass is opaque and offer excellent transmission in the UV through MWIR range By Mike Ball / 19 Dec 2022

Meller Optics has introduced a new line of spinel and ALON (aluminium oxynitride) optics designed for UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), drone and unmanned systems applications requiring a durable and chemical-resistant material.

Meller spinel and ALON optics are transparent in spectral regions where glass is opaque, are about ten times more abrasion-resistant, offer superior chemical-resistance, and excellent transmission in the UV through MWIR. Manufactured using powder processing techniques, these optical ceramics can be produced in large sizes and complex shapes and retain up to 75% of their strength at 1,000ºC.

Optically isotropic which eliminates birefringence effects, Meller spinel and ALON Optics are available in sizes up to 18” x 35” in production quantities. Spinel and ALON Optics exhibit 1650 and 1870 Knoop hardness and up to 70-300 and 300-700 MPa strength respectively. They can be finished with less than 60-40 scratch-dig surface quality, less than 1 fringe flatness at 633 nm, less than 1 arc-min parallelism, and polished bevel on two sides.

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Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact