Barrington, NJ and Bucks, England--Camera lenses--those finicky things that seem to degrade under the slightest duress--can be made to survive harsh conditions, as in machine-vision lenses made by Edmund Optics and remote-head camera lenses produced by Resolve Optics.
Lenses that can be washed
Edmund has created a new line of rugged micro video-imaging lenses for automotive and industrial machine-vision applications; their precision optical components are mounted inside a sealed optical assembly. The Harsh Environmental Optics (HEO) lenses are well-suited for wash-down and other wet surroundings.
Designed for 1/2 in. and 1/3 in. sensor formats, the HEO imaging lenses come in four different focal lengths and have standard M12 x 0.5 mounting threads. Two different coating options are optimized for visible or near-IR infinite-conjugate imaging applications.
Lenses that can be irradiated
Resolve Optics now makes a radiation-hardened specialist lens designed to provide high performance with large-image-format remote-head cameras used in applications that include nuclear vision and astronomical star tracking.
The combined requirements of radiation-hardness and large-image-format capability have prevented standard lenses from meeting the demands of the nuclear and other radiation-intensive industries. The lens from Resolve Optics, however, is non-browning (NB) under radiation while using optical glasses that still allow a large-image-format design.
The 20 mm fixed-focus NB lens withstands radiation exposure of up to 53 kGy and temperatures up to 55°C without discoloration. Designed to give a 40° field of view in both the vertical and horizontal planes and 25 cycles/mm resolution, the lens has been optimized for a 12.8 x 12.8 mm image sensor. Measuring 30 mm in diameter, the compact f/2 lens delivers high image resolution and minimum geometric distortion from 400 to 750 nm.
Areas of the universe accessible to this lens include nuclear power plants, nuclear waste processing and research reactors, nuclear medicine labs, and outer space.