Optronics top expertise in our own hands
In the beginning of the current year Millog, a subsidiary of Patria Group, transferred the development and sales activities of optical and optoelectronic products to a new subsidiary company.
From now on, Senop will be responsible e.g. for the development of image intensifiers, night vision devices, thermal imagers, and target acquisition systems. Director of Senop Optronics Timo Vuorenpää says that solid design expertise is without any doubt the company’s competitive edge.
”We are ourselves in charge of all development work concerning e.g. optics, mechanical components and software. All necessary know-how is available in house.”
According to Timo Vuorenpää comprehensive overall in-house know-how speeds up product development. Lead time from idea to final product is short. Customers are provided with prompt and high-quality services.
”It is not at all unusual that customers require minor modifications on the products – for example a slightly different configuration of the sight cross-hair or an extra information on the display. We are capable of providing such customisation at a short notice."
The service also includes the testing of equipment in challenging conditions as specified by the customer, for example, in extreme temperatures.
The Defence and Armed Forces of several states are Senop’s most important customer base. The Police, Customs, Border Guard Authorities and Rescue Departments use in their operations e.g. thermal cameras procured from Senop.
The HUSKY product family is the flagship of Senop’s optoelectronic products offering. In the Nordic countries, Millog is the largest producer of image intensifiers, one the products belonging to the HUSKY product family.
VVLITE is a light-weight night vision device which can be attached e.g, to the helmet or weapon, or used with a head mount. VV2002 is a night vision device designed especially for vehicle drivers.
The image intensifiers are available in three optional versions with the horizontal field of view being either 40, 50, or 60 degrees so as to accommodate every intended purpose of use.
”An image intensifier with a narrow field of view is suitable e.g. for long firing or observation ranges. A wide field of view is ideal especially for vehicle drivers or soldiers operating in rough terrain,” Vuorenpää describes the available options.
VV2002 also features stereoscopic vision capability which enhances depth perception.
”The driver can perceive distances more accurately and discern better any obstacles in the terrain, such as bumps, rocks and trees. This enables driving at a greater speed.”
Significant input in product development is also evident in the HUSKY thermal imagers. The cameras are based on the so-called uncooled thermographic imaging technology which offers several advantages in relation to conventional cooled thermographic imaging technology.
HUSKY thermal imager is ready for use immediately when switched on without any warm up delay. Cost-efficiency is also one of the key advantages.
”The overall life cycle costs of the device are clearly lower in comparison to conventional devices. The service life of the thermal imager’s sensor unit is dozens of times longer in comparison to conventional devices."
Thermal imagers are used e.g. for observation and surveillance purposes. They are also suitable for target acquisition and weapon system sights.
Timo Vuorenpää says that the target observation and target acquisition systems have become the best selling items of the HUSKY product family.
The light-weight and easy to use LISA system is suitable especially for special and infantry units for the purposes of range measurement and target acquisition.
LISA features e.g. laser range finder, digital magnet compass and night vision device. The system is capable of recording digital still and video image data containing also target position data.
”Using the device is easy. The soldier aims the device at the intended target and simply presses a button, and the device will calculate the target’s coordinates, record a digital image and then transmit the image and position data. Previously, several measurement devices were needed for target acquisition: first to determine one’s own position and then to measure the target range and direction. In addition, a separate night vision device might have been needed. Today one single device performs all these functions quickly and accurately.”
”We have received particularly positive feedback on the user-friendly interface on whose development we focused a great deal of resources.” Whereas the induction of users to the devices of the previous generation took several weeks, one learns to operate LISA in half an hour."