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Optics

300 Below’s cryogenic treatment process helps major defense and aerospace contractors obtain peak performance on aviation assets including drones and UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) seeking a higher altitude with enhanced clarity during flight observations.  Our cryogenic processing specifications can mean the difference between green lighting a target on the ground or identifying friendly assets nearby that require additional hold time and protection.

Without improved clarity and optical visual acuity, it’s sometimes difficult to identify people,

allowing the operator to differentiate between a friendly military asset and an enemy combatant.

When seconds count, and rapid decision making requires the best situational awareness to offer an enhanced OODA loop in both observation and execution, 300 Below’s cryogenic treatment process leads the pack on bolstering critical mission assessments obtained through powerful visual clarity. This is made possible when air assets are using optical benches and aluminum optical housing groups treated by 300 Below.

For satellite reconnaissance and space based assets utilizing optical components that require tight tolerances, 300 Below is fully capable of applying its aerospace cryogenic treatment processes to enhance the optical acuity and stability of image acquisition. For over 50 years, since 1966, 300 Below has led the industry in processing sensitive military aviation and space program components to ensure America’s competitive advantage both on the ground and in the air.

When the military optics travel from the hot surface of earth, such as on a tarmac in Pakistan or Afghanistan, to the upper atmosphere for reconnaissance missions, optical housing components are exposed to extremes in temperatures both hot and cold.

As a result, metal structures can move from expansion and contraction, jeopardizing structural integrity of these sensitive optical devices. It is nearly impossible to ensure uniformity of image and data gathering when stress is further imparted and stabilization is reduced in the structure. Stress concentration areas can impede vibrational dissipation (causing transmission of vibrational distortion during image gathering) and impede uniformity of expansion of the overall aluminum metal structure when heating and cooling takes places. Optical distortion results, while transmission speeds from impeded or distorted radio or satellite signals can also present issues for the optical device during collection and transmission.

What are the most common problems with the military optics?

  • Aluminum housing bodies corrode
  • Residual stresses
  • Fatigue cracking
  • The microstructure of the material may contain inclusions and voids

What military optic components benefit from cryogenic processing?

  • 6150 AL
  • 8620 AL
  • 9310 AL

What benefits military optics can obtain through cryogenic treatment?

  • Stress relief and stabilization for uniformity
  • Reduction in corrosion
  • Improved heat transmissivity
  • Flex-fatigue enhancement (reducing flex-fatigue failures)