Boresight systems

Boresight is a process to align optical axis of single system or a series of optical or electro-optical systems with a certain reference optical axis or mechanical axis. Proper boresight is particularly critical in case of multi-sensor electro-optical surveillance systems built from a series of systems like thermal imager, VIS/NIR camera, SWIR camera, laser range finder, laser pointer (see Educational section).  

 Multi-sensor EO system are the most difficult case for boresight. Therefore the term "Boresight station"  in  this section means a station for boresight and basic tests of multi-sensor EO systems.  Boresight of binocular night vision devices and laser range finders is to be done using separate test stations.   Inframet offers three main stations for boresight and basic tests of multi-sensor EO systems: JT station, JAT station, JIMS station and JTAR station.


Fig. 1. JT400 boresight station


Fig. 2.  JAT200 mobile boresight station

Fig. 3.  JIMS boresight station

Fig. 4.  JTAR  portable boresight station





JT stations are modular, quasi-universal systems that enable expanded boresight and basic tests of multi-sensor E-O systems based on big on axis collimators (typically up to 600mm aperture). In special cases systems of aperture up to 800mm can be delivered. Because of use of a single collimator of large aperture covering optics of  all imaging/laser sensors highest boresight accuracy can be achieved.

JIMS boresight stations can be treated as a special budget version of JT station optimized for testing EO systems of ultra large aperture. Special CEB expanded is used to increase effective aperture of  a typical reflective on axis collimator of 400mm aperture up to 1000mm in one direction. It a near perfect solution when testing EO system having EO sensors located on a large horizontal platform. However, it should be noticed that boresight accuracy using JIMS station is slightly worse comparing to boresight accuracy using typical JT station.

JAT stations can be considered as a special mobile boresight station optimized for testing multi-sensor EO systems at airport/airfields conditions.
The JAT stations are compact, lightweight stations designed to carry out boresight and basic test of airborne multi-sensor EO systems. The stations are extremely simple to operate. Next, the image projector/laser receiver block is located on a movable platform. Further on, the station can be optimized for multi-sensor EO systems of different sizes of sensors optics. All these features make JAT an optimal choice for maintenance of multi-sensor EO systems or performance checking before important missions. 

JTAR station is designed using a boresight concept totally different comparing to classical boresight system based on image projector located at very short distance to tested system and well aligned to the tested system. JTAR station is a based on a concept a portable station located at significant distance from the tested system that is used as a shooting target to laser of the tested system. The target is visible for both imagers (thermal imager and VIS-NIR camera) to enable measurement of boresight error between the imaging sensors.

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