Unlike image intensified night vision that amplifies existing light, thermal imaging works by measuring and displaying infrared energy. The hotter the object the more infrared energy it emits, so the body heat of humans or animals makes it jump out from the background. This makes thermal imaging ideal night vision for many applications especially when you are trying to detect a target or when working in hazy or smoky environments or tunnels and caves where ambient light is not readily available or is obscured.
This year Armasight is launching three new families of thermal imagers with over 40 variants. Among those, Armasight offers an array of advanced thermal imaging weapon sights as part of their Zeus line.
There are few major components to thermal sights. The primary ones are — core technology camera, front lens system, output display, eyepiece lens system, and housing construction.
The Armasight Zeus is based on the absolute latest FLIR Tau 2 uncooled microbolometer camera. There are three FLIR sensor arrays in the Armasight line to choose from: 160×120 with pixel size of 25 microns, 336×256 with pixel size of 17 microns and even 640×480 also with pixel size of 17 microns. The larger the array and the smaller the size of the pixel, the better resolution image you get. FLIR core technology offers amazing thermal sensitivity and image quality.
Glass does not transmit heat very well. Because of this all long-wave thermal imagers utilize germanium lenses. Germanium is a rare Earth material that efficiently transmits infrared energy. As germanium lenses get larger they might become the most expensive part of thermal imaging system. Armasight does not cut corners here and offers a 42mm lenses in place of industry standard 35mm. For larger apertures, the Armasight Zeus offers 75mm lenses instead of the more common 50mm lenses.
Next there is an output display. All Armasight Zeus models are equipped with color organic light emitting diode screens — OLEDs with a resolution of 800×600 pixels.
Next there is a body that houses all of the components that I mentioned before. The Zeus housing is fabricated out of aircraft quality aluminum. Zeus scopes are the most compact and lightweight in its class.
Finally there is the software that runs the whole system. Armasight employs digital platform to the fullest. There is a tracking electronic-zoom with «always on the target» reticle that automatically adjusts for magnification. The Zeus offers the End-user a wide array of selectable reticle patterns, polarity and colorizations modes. By using drop down menus, users can select the Armasight proprietary tactical or hunting scenarios and digital filters where advanced algorithms optimize the rifle scope for Close Quarters Combat or for hog hunting. The Armasight Zeus equipped with extension connector for connecting various accessories that provides external battery power for longer camera life, video out option for external monitor, video in from another scope or PC and more video remote and recording capabilities through that same connector.
There is even a wireless remote control and optional compact video recorder with playback capabilities. The Armasight Zeus provides amazing image quality in total darkness, dust, fog, smoke or even through heavy foliage. Made in the USA, the Armasight Zeus series starts well below $4,500 and these amazing scopes are great for any mission whether it is a hunt or a battle.
The equipment is available in the following versions that are structurally different in terms of thermal imaging cameras and objective lenses: