Military Review

In the United States developed a sight with "adaptive optics"

Arrows-snipers and hunters in some cases need a sight with variable magnification and focal length. In modern sights with such a function, the focal length is adjusted by changing the relative position of several lenses. With all the advantages, such a system is not without drawbacks: first of all, a relatively low speed of reconfiguration. American engineers have developed and tested the original optical sight system with the shortest possible multiplicity change time.

The National Laboratory in Sandia presented its new development - the RAZAR optical sight (Rapid Adaptive Zoom for Assault Rifles - “High-speed adaptive zoom for assault rifles”). In an official press release of the organization, it is stated that the use of the original idea underlying the new sight, significantly reduced the time for changing the magnification of the image in the eyepiece. In addition, the new RAZAR sight has a simple and intuitive control system that provides high usability. weapons and sighting devices.

The RAZAR rifle shown by American specialists is an optical instrument with a control system that complements other aiming devices. In all the presented photo and video materials, the RAZAR system is used as a magnifying “attachment” for other sights. Probably, such a prototype architecture was chosen to simplify it and in the future full-fledged sights with an innovative multiplicity change system, aiming grid, etc. may appear.

The RAZAR sight has an extremely simple appearance: smooth cylindrical, with both ends of which have lenses, as well as a small cylindrical block in its lower part. At sight there is a mount for installation on a standard Picatinny rail in front of another sight. From the body of the RAZAR sight comes the wire connecting it to the control panel. The latter can also be mounted on the Picatinny rail and has two buttons to control the multiplicity.

Convenience of operation and speed of adjustment, allegedly, are provided with a separate control panel. The demonstration video shows that the console can be installed on the side surface of the forearm of the base weapon, under the arrow fingers. Thus, to adjust the RAZAR sight, the shooter must not take his hands off the weapon. It is expected that this will speed up aiming, including when shooting at targets at different ranges.

Of greatest interest is the optical system used in the sight RAZAR. Its development was launched in the 2006 year, but only now the project has reached the creation and testing of an experimental prototype, which is limited to use in real conditions. Such a long period of work on the new scope due to the complexity of its design. Instead of the "traditional" glass or plastic lenses, it was decided to use the so-called. adaptive optics of complex construction.

Unlike traditional optical sights or other optical instruments with variable magnification, the new RAZAR sight has no moving lenses. Instead, the system uses the original design. The new sight is based on a set of glass and polymer lenses. The latter are two flexible membranes inside the rings, between which there is a clear liquid. At the command of the control system, a small-sized ultrasonic piezoelectric engine, acting on the ring-holder, changes the shape of the membrane. Both membranes bend and change the characteristics of the entire optical system. Thus, the principle of operation of optics, created in accordance with the concept of Adaptive Zoom, is similar to the way the lens of the eye works.

In the United States developed a sight with "adaptive optics"

It is argued that the used ultrasonic drive provides a change in the distance between the centers of the membranes with an accuracy of 100 nm. The change in the characteristics of the lens takes about a quarter of a second. The authors of the project RAZAR note the efficiency of the used engine. Two AA batteries, from which the sight is powered, should be enough for 10 thousandth multiplicity adjustment cycles.

When creating the new RAZAR sight, the staff of the national laboratory in Sandia had to solve several serious problems. Home - the purity of the fluid injected between the flexible membranes. It must be free from any impurities and must not contain air bubbles. Otherwise, adaptive optics will not work properly, and will not provide the required ease of use.

Another serious problem was the power consumption of the sight drives. After lengthy work involving commercial organizations, a piezoelectric motor with acceptable characteristics was selected. According to official data, the shooter will be able to 10 thousands of times to change the multiplicity of the sight, without replacing the batteries. An interesting feature of the RAZAR sight is energy consumption only at the moment of changing the curvature of the membrane-lenses. After adjustment, the state of the optical system is maintained even when the power is turned off.

The first prototype of the sight based on the optics of the Adaptive Zoom system was created in 2010, and two years later it was shown to the military. RAZAR project manager Brett Baguell notes that the new sight has interested the military. The instant zoom in the eyepiece surprised and delighted the servicemen, who were allowed to test this scope. The testers recognized that the ability to quickly restructure the scope for firing at a different range could change the nature of the battle.

At the time of demonstration of prototypes of the sight based on the Adaptive Zoom, the staff of the National Laboratory began to improve the characteristics of the sight and bring them in line with the requirements of shooters and military. The presented RAZAR sight is protected from moisture and dust, withstands shocks, vibration and recoil of the weapon. In addition, it can be used in a relatively wide range of air temperatures. According to these parameters, the sight conforms to the standard MIL-STD-810G.

Now employees of the National Laboratory in Sandia, headed by B. Baguell, are working to improve the RAZAR system, as well as create new optical devices based on adaptive optics. The priority project is a night sight based on flexible polymer lenses. A prototype of this system has been manufactured and is being tested. In the future, it will be refined for use on small arms or, possibly, in night vision devices.

The proposed system of adaptive optics has great prospects and can be used in various fields of instrument-making, in need of optical devices with variable magnification. First of all, these are photo and video equipment of various classes. In the future, you may receive mobile phones and smartphones with a similar zoom and other electronics.

The RAZAR sight itself is of some interest both for army shooters and for hunters. In both cases, the ability to quickly change the multiplicity will significantly improve the speed of aiming and thereby significantly improve the efficiency of fire. However, Adaptive Zoom-based hardware is quite expensive. The high price can seriously limit the commercial prospects of a RAZAR sight and similar devices. Despite this, the new sight with adaptive optics is interesting as the first device in its class, built on the basis of flexible lenses and brought to the stage of field testing.

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  1. Major_Vortex
    Major_Vortex 30 October 2014 08: 58
    A professional army needs a good and accurate weapon, capable of quickly and efficiently incapacitating enemy soldiers at ranges greater than 300 m. Where American weapons technology is moving and a hedgehog is clear: kill first or kill you.
    1. The comment was deleted.
    2. siberalt
      siberalt 31 October 2014 06: 02
      It would be nice if the zoom could change focus without taking off the scope. So there is an opportunity for revision.
  2. Prager
    Prager 30 October 2014 09: 24
    What can I say - well done, mattresses. soon we are waiting for the Chinese clone of this invention.
    1. PSih2097
      PSih2097 30 October 2014 09: 43
      Quote: Prager
      What can I say - well done, mattresses. soon we are waiting for the Chinese clone of this invention.

      they already have something similar, though the resource of this optics leaves much to be desired (about a hundred shots and a dump ...)
      1. gross kaput
        gross kaput 31 October 2014 00: 06
        Would you please give a link? or at least a name?
  3. kimyth1
    kimyth1 30 October 2014 09: 40
    But what about Chinese and not Russian? I would rejoice for ours!
  4. Dragon-y
    Dragon-y 30 October 2014 09: 41
    Any movable and adjustable elements are a potential "weak link".
    Well, "batteries" - in which kiosk to buy? ..
    1. I read the news
      I read the news 30 October 2014 10: 08
      What, now throw all the equipment with batteries and batteries into a landfill?
    2. Lopatov
      Lopatov 30 October 2014 10: 56
      In fact, this is a far-fetched problem. If the shooter can be provided with cartridges, why can not batteries be provided? Standardization is simply needed. For example, take the standard commercial standard size AA, and use only it, both in batteries and in batteries.
    3. gross kaput
      gross kaput 31 October 2014 00: 11
      Damn, why does anyone who thoughtfully asks about batteries always come to every topic to one degree or another about electronics on weapons? Why such idiotic questions do not arise when discussing radio stations, NVD, GPS and much more?
  5. romashki74
    romashki74 30 October 2014 09: 46
    I'm not an enemy of everything new, but in this case I strongly doubt the reliability. Too many "tricks". How will all this behave after an autumn rain, when you crawl on the belly of 3-4 kilometers and under a layer of semi-frozen clay the handwheels of the settings on the PSO are not visible. And the price will probably "pleasantly surprise". Time will tell .. Well, as always, everything is cool with them. In a warm dash, but for fixed targets, it is the most!
    1. bazilio
      bazilio 30 October 2014 14: 38
      Quote: romashki74
      How will all this behave after the autumn rain,

      It’s much more interesting how it will behave in the cold if liquid is used in this sight.
      1. Bayonet
        Bayonet 30 October 2014 16: 37
        Quote: bazilio
        It’s much more interesting how it will behave in the cold if liquid is used in this sight.

        There is no water there!
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. Juborg
      Juborg 30 October 2014 14: 57
      As far as I understand, outside there are no revolving, pushing and other things, everything works according to the principle, stamped, the lens focused everything on its own. Everything is tight, without access of air and moisture. True, these 10 thousand shots can be said in greenhouse conditions. But any mechanical optical sight also requires careful handling and you certainly won’t bathe it or drag it on the sand, but gently wrap it with a cover and take care of it. Operation will show.
    4. Bayonet
      Bayonet 30 October 2014 16: 36
      Quote: romashki74
      How all this will behave after the autumn rain, when you crawl on the belly of a 3-4 kilometer and under the layer of semi-frozen clay of the handwheels, the settings for the PSO are not visible.

      The sight is assembled in a sealed enclosure, so nevermind it rains, and the absence of handwheels, all the more increases the survivability of the device in pollution conditions.
  6. Lopatov
    Lopatov 30 October 2014 10: 52
    Interesting topic. Variable zoom lenses are really very promising - they allow you to create compact sights with minimal energy consumption

    Electronic sights, of course, have more capabilities, but their power consumption is, to say the least, great.
    1. bazilio
      bazilio 30 October 2014 14: 41
      Quote: Spade
      Electronic sights, of course, have more capabilities, but their power consumption is, to say the least, great.

      You are right, but there is one aspect - this scope is an addition to the standard scope. the battery has run down, this device has broken, just unfasten it and leave a regular sight. Another question is the price of these tricks.
    2. bazilio
      bazilio 30 October 2014 14: 41
      Quote: Spade
      Electronic sights, of course, have more capabilities, but their power consumption is, to say the least, great.

      You are right, but there is one aspect - this scope is an addition to the standard scope. the battery has run down, this device has broken, just unfasten it and leave a regular sight. Another question is the price of these tricks.
  7. bmv04636
    bmv04636 30 October 2014 10: 55
    the question is how this wonderful device works in the conditions of the deserts of the Arctic, Sahara (Gobi) on the highlands and during the monsoon season in Southeast Asia.
    1. CA CA
      CA CA 30 October 2014 11: 08
      And it should work well. From the article we can conclude that there, it seems, oil with a diaphragm pump driven by a piezoelectric motor. So the selection of the right oil is just a technical task.
    2. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 30 October 2014 17: 42
      Is it difficult to make a sealed enclosure?
      Now they sell cheap cameras for filming
      in salty ocean water, and at a depth
      - I’ve been using this for 2 years already.
      Compared to this, the ones you listed are nonsense.
  8. valersvet
    valersvet 30 October 2014 14: 34
    author "+"
    fascinating and informative reading.
  9. wei
    wei 30 October 2014 14: 56
    This system was developed by an English ophthalmologist for residents of Africa
    the glasses turned out to be large, with round lenses, they had a pear pump to change the pressure in the lenses, which led to the bending of the flexible membrane. Sometimes the whole "village" used the glasses alone, it was not very profitable for the manufacturers of glasses
    so the invention is not new ...
    technology does not stand still, we are waiting for similar optics on the shelves.
  10. alex-cn
    alex-cn 30 October 2014 15: 10
    Quote: wei
    We are waiting for similar optics on the shelves.

    Do many have enough swimsuits to get this? The sight automatically introduces corrections for range (burris if I am not mistaken), from one and a half thousand green.
    1. gross kaput
      gross kaput 31 October 2014 00: 18
      Quote: alex-cn
      Do many have enough swimsuits to get this?

      And when in the late 80s the first binoculars with laser rangefinders appeared and their price was from 15000 cu many could afford them? or the first GPS receivers for the same money, but unlike the modern ones for 100 cu, they did not show a point on the map but gave out a numerical value of coordinates.
      So if this technology is developed and there is no monopoly, then in a few years the price will be quite adequate.
  11. Rzhevsky
    Rzhevsky 31 October 2014 00: 29
    The light transmittance of these lenses is not written! Maybe they only work at noon in California like in the photo?
    And what in Russia do nothing? Are there any hopes for toys from China? Why all the developments in order to get to Rassei must first escape over the hill from Russia ????????
  12. Hun
    Hun 31 October 2014 16: 22
    In my opinion, it does not matter "who is the first", it is important "who is better and more practical" ... all significant inventions were made in different countries!