Lighting Up The Dark
Cutting edge and innovative electro-optical solutions have been developed by Israeli companies including thermal imaging, lasers, infra-red, optics and other electronics systems. These systems give security forces and law enforcement agencies a crucial advantage by transforming night into day. Available products range from laser rangefinders and anti-aircraft artillery control systems through to long-range cameras for use in small satellites and for industry automated optical inspection systems.
For example these optronics technologies enable fighter aircraft to carry out reconnaissance missions and precision strikes in the dark with night vision systems that are as accurate as day time maneuvers. These systems can comprise part of the aircraft itself and are also now available in pilot’s helmets, umanned air vehicles (UAVs), special cameras and binoculars as well as a range of personal night vision devices. Initially developed for aircraft, all these systems are now available for naval vessels, tanks, artillery, armored vehicles, light weapons and the individual infantry soldier. Orientation at night is also enhanced by night compass and rangefinder systems developed in Israel.
Laser technology is excellent not only for night surveillance but also greater day and night-time accuracy. Laser aiming devices and target marking systems fixed to everything from semi-automatic M-16 rifles, artillery guns and helicopter and aircraft mounted weapon systems turn an average marksman into highly proficient snipers. Laser technology has also been adapted by Israeli high-tech systems to warn about other laser threats. In addition thermal imaging is embedded in many systems such as UAVs and light aircraft and vessels.
Sector leaders in electro-optics in Israel for both military and commercial applications include El-Op Electro-Optics Industries, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems. El-Op’s technologies and products range from space and airborne reconnaissance to thermal imaging, lasers and mini-lasers, displays, fire control systems, optronic stabilized payloads and electro-optics countermeasures. Specific products include portable lasers, lightweight laser range-finders and compact thermal imaging modules.
Ophir Optronics s[pecializes in the development, manufacture and marketing of optics for lasers and IR systems as well as laser measurement equipment and 3D non contact measurement sensors. These products are used in a variety of military and commercial applications ranging from boats and aircraft to cutting and welding industrial machinery.
Other manufacturers include Ortek, also a subsidiary of Elbit Systems, which has developed night vision monoculars, binoculars, goggles and night observation sights and International Technologies Lasers Ltd. (ITL), which produces laser aiming devices and sights, night vision systems for image intensification and thermal imaging, laser range finders and target acquisition systems, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and searchlights and illumination devices. Moked Engineering has developed third-eye laser warning systems and Technical Consultants International (TCI) designs, develops and manufactures night vision systems for rifles, binoculars and CCTV.
Rafael Armament Development Authority has developed high performance, low cost stabilized electro-optical payloads and Opgal, a subsidiary of Rafael, is a major systems house for surveillance and observation systems based on thermal imaging. The TAMAM Division of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) produces a full range of multi-sensor, electro-optical payloads. New Noga Light specializes in night vision systems including image intensifier tubes and equipment, night vision observation systems, goggles and sights. Vectop has developed advanced electro-optical C3 and video debriefing systems, while Controp produces day/night stabilized payloads, directional antenna pedestals, aerial film cameras and zoom lenses. Semi-Conductor Devices develops and manufactures a full spectrum of infrared detectors and laser diodes.
Leading edge technologies developed in recent years include ISORAD, the commercial arm of the Soreq Nuclear Research Center, which has developed unique electro-optical materials and components including transparent and glass-based optical fibers. ISORAD also markets electro-optical systems for quality control of small arms ammunitions. Institute for Advanced R&D (IARD) has developed a unique range of radiometers. Semi-Conductor Devices (SCD) develops and manufactures a full range of infrared detectors and lasers, while Rotem Industries provides electro-optical single crystal components using its innovative sapphire growing technology. CI Systems has developed unique electro-optical testing and measurement systems for the maintenance of military electro-optical systems
Indeed, it is in the area of quality control and testing that most electro-optical systems in the Israeli civilian sector have been developed. Orbotech manufactures machine vision and imaging solutions known as automated optical inspection systems for the printing circuit board and flat panel display industries. Opgal also makes electro-optics and image processing technology for assisting heart surgeons during open-heart surgery as well as inspection systems for the corrugated cardboard industry. Uni-Scope Optical Systems develops and manufactures a broad range of periscopes.
In the industrial arena Orbotech is a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of machine vision and imaging solutions for the electronics industry. The company’s solutions are principally designed for optical inspection of printed circuit boards (PCBs) and Flat Panel Displays (FPDs).
Ongoing major investment in R&D by the Israeli electro-optics industry, will ensure the continued improvement of existing products and new technologies, to satisfy ever increasing demands for smarter defense systems and more rigorous quality control and inspection systems.
Homeland Security and Aerospace Catalog of Israeli Companies
Comprehensive Catalog of Israeli Companies