Europe, UK, Asia & RoW: [email protected] +44 (0)1622 859444 | USA & Canada: [email protected] +1 401-583-7846

BREXIT UPDATE: Knight Optical will continue to provide quality assured service for all your optical requirements both custom & stock. We will handle all requirements caused by the new regulations.

Optics for Defence, Security and Aerospace


For over 25 years Knight Optical has been working closely with defence, security and aerospace companies providing optical solutions for advanced instrumentation and systems. Our aim is to provide expert knowledge and supply quality optical components to fulfil the demanding requirements within the industry. Components are supplied by Knight Optical in instrumentation such as:

  • Forward looking infrared
  • Night vision goggles
  • Missile guidiance systems
  • Infared sensors
  • Targeting systems
  • Security cameras
  • Thermal imaging
  • Surveillance systems
  • MWIR and LWIR imaging systems
Optical components Defence, Security & Aerospace industries

Optical components Defence, Security & Aerospace industries

Custom Optic Solutions

Knight Optical are global leaders in custom optical solutions. We have a team of Science and Business graduates complimented by a management team with years of experience. We work closely with our customers to achieve their specific goals in the design and manufacture of custom optics and mechanics to their exact requirements.

Custom Optics


Stock Optic Solutions

We also hold a large inventory of stock optical components for use in ultra-violet, visible, near infrared and far-infrared applications that can be customized at short notice to meet your specific requirements.

Stock Optics

stock optical components for university research

Material Matters

There are many different application and environments that your instruments and systems are working. Knight Optical provides optical components in a vast number of different materials with specialised coatings appropriate for the required conditions.

Amorphous Material Transmitting Infrared Radiation (AMTIR)

AMTIR are glass-like materials that can transmit wavelengths of 0.7-14µm and have low dispersion. These materials can be used in SWIR, MWIR and LWIR applications.

Material Symbol Transmission Range (μm) Refractive Index Density g/cm2
AMTIR-1 Ge-As-Se 0.7-12 2.49715 @ 10μm 4.43
AMTIR-2 As-Se 1.0-14 2.7703 @ 10μm 4.66
AMTIR-3 GE-Sb-Se 1.0-12 2.6027 @ 10μm 4.67
AMTIR-4 As-Se 1.0-12 2.646 @ 10μm 4.49
AMTIR-5 As-Se 1.0-12 2.7423 @ 10μm 4.51
AMTIR-6 As-S 0.6-8.0 23807 @ 10μm 3.2

Crystal Materials for Infrared

The most common materials for use in MWIR and LWIR are silicon, germanium and zinc selenide.

Material Symbol Transmission Range (μm) Refractive Index Density g/cm2
Silicon Si 1.2-7.0 and 25-300 3.4289 @ 4 2.329
Germanium Ge 2.0-14 4.025 @ 4 5.323
Zinc Selenide ZnSe 0.6-16 2.4332 @ 4 5.27

Common materials also used are: lithium fluoride, sapphire, calcium fluoride, barium fluoride, caesium iodide and gallium arsenide.

Innovate Your Systems with Knight Optical

Use high quality optical components:

AMTIR lenses and windows for infrared imaging, night vision googles and FLIR systems

AMTIR has a high dispersion value, 113, that allows the use of this glass for pairing in the LWIR waveband with Zinc Sulphide. This pairing will allow for the design and manufacture of a colour corrected lens. The refractive index range with temperature of AMTIR allows the design of optical systems that could avoid thermal defocussing in the MWIR and LWIR wavebands.

AMTIR can be diamond turned permitting better and lighter NIR, MWIR and LWIR systems to be built. The surfaces that can be diamond turned include, spherical, aspherical, and cylindrical. Night vision goggles benefit from the use of AMTIR glass by helping them to be lighter, have fewer optical elements, cheaper, and higher resolution as the image intensifier tubes improve in quality. Other alternative methods of diamond machining that we offer is diamond fly cutting which is used to generate diffraction gratings and also diamond milling, which can be used to generate aspheric lens arrays.

Germanium aspheric lenses for missile guidance systems and night vision goggles

Diamond turned aspheric lenses are typically used in optical assemblies such as missile guidance systems, night vision goggles and other military based instruments. For example, using a single aspheric lens in night vision goggles in place of a multi-lens array is a desirable option to reduce spherical distortion, weight and cost

Gallium Arsenide optics for MWIR and LWIR viewing units

Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) Optics for Infra-red systems over the waveband of 2 to 16μm. We offer GaAs optics for MWIR (3 to 5μm) and LWIR (8 to 12μm) Imaging Systems. GaAs has a good transmission in the MWIR band, and can be used with Silicon or Germanium, given its refractive index range is between them, to form well corrected doublets and lens systems. These systems include, for example, Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) systems, and thermography.


Understanding Quality

Our rigorous testing procedures – using advanced metrology equipment and skilled QA inspectors – ensure all our products satisfy even the most specific requirements. This applies to one-off custom parts and large production runs. Every single component we supply is proven to perform. We will also provide you with all the information you require for your documentation. We can reassure you that there is transparency on your ordered items including a metrology report and a certificate of conformance to quality standards. We are able to provide you with as much information as required to ensure that legal obligations are met, allowing your instrument to be approved for use as soon as possible.

Our rigorous testing procedures – using advanced metrology equipment and skilled QA inspectors – ensure all our products satisfy even the most specific requirements. This applies to one-off custom parts and large production runs. Every single component we supply is proven to perform. We will also provide you with all the information you require for your documentation. We can reassure you that there is transparency on your ordered items including a metrology report and a certificate of conformance to quality standards. We are able to provide you with as much information as required to ensure that legal obligations are met, allowing your instrument to be approved for use as soon as possible.

Knight Optical value every one of our customers, and therefore you will be assigned a dedicated account manager, who cares as much about your project as you do. They make the process of getting a quotation to receiving an order, as smooth as possible. We go above and beyond ensuring that your supply chain experience is as stress-free as possible.


Commonly Ordered Optics