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7/3/2010  Sapphire and Spinel Optics for Military Guidance and Imaging Systems 
 
Custom fabricated sapphire and polycrystalline spinel optics for use as viewports and front surface protection in weapons guidance systems are being introduced by Meller Optics, Inc. of Providence, Rhode Island.

Meller Military Optics can be custom fabricated as plano-convex, -concave, and meniscus windows and domes from 1/2 up to 4 dia. with 0.001 tolerances and precise edges, steps, profiles, and coatings. They can be made from sapphire which features Moh 9 hardness and high abrasion and pressure resistance to 1,000C, and from polycrystalline spinel which is transparent to electromagnetic radiation from the UV through the mid-IR.

Produced in prototype through production quantities, Meller Military Optics provide surface finishes to 20-10 scratch-dig per MIL-PRF-13830. According to the USAF Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, spinel has a distinct transmission advantage over sapphire from 4.5 to 5.5 microns which is of particular importance for seeker and electro-optic imaging systems.

Meller Military Optics are priced according to material, configuration, and quantity. Price quotations are available upon request.
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