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Thin new silicon lens could mean cheaper security cameras


May 23, 2014

An image captured using the new lens

An image captured using the new lens

Image Gallery (2 images)

Night-vision security cameras could be getting a lot less costly, thanks to the discovery that their lenses can be made from silicon. Ordinarily, thermal infrared camera lenses are made from materials such as germanium and chalcogenide, which are much more expensive.

Silicon normally doesn't work for such lenses, as the material tends to absorb too much light, allowing little to get through to the camera's image sensor. A team of French researchers, however, discovered that this isn't a problem if the lens is very thin. They proceeded to laser-etch a Fresnel-style silicon lens, in which light is focused using concentric rings of material.

The finished lens is approximately 1 mm thick, 4 mm in diameter, has a 130-degree field of view, and works over a wide range of infrared wavelengths. While the images it captures may not be exactly broadcast-quality, they're sufficient for picking up individuals in low-light settings.

The team is made up of staff from aerospace lab ONERA, thermal imaging sensor company ULIS, the Institut d’Optique and the French National Center for Scientific Research. A paper on their research was recently published in the journal Optics Letters.

Source: The Optical Society

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth
1 Comment

Based on what I see here, it looks like ET is attempting a break in to steal the Reece's Pieces. For now, I'll just stick with sensor lights, Hi def PTZ cameras and the 12 guage.

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