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Optics for Infrastructure & Transportation

As our towns and cities become smarter, and mod-cons demand a higher level of connectivity, technology is quickly progressing to keep up with innovations. Thanks to the ideology of the Internet of Things (IoT), the last decade has witnessed even further technological growth and has seen us become more connected with the objects that surround us within the built environment. This connectivity has led to an even greater need for optical components within town and city infrastructure as more and more of these ‘objects’ join the IoT network.

Our optical components feature in several airborne and ground-based technologies under the Infrastructure, Transportation & Security brackets including:

  • Cash machines and coin/note scanners
  • Barcode scanners
  • Telecommunications
  • Facial recognition and biometrics
  • Security cameras
  • ANPR/ALPR (automatic number plate recognition/automatic license plate recognition) cameras
  • Autonomous driving
  • Solar-powered vehicles such as ships and electric cars
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for surveillance
  • LiDAR within construction
  • 3D mapping lasers
  • Optical payloads for satellites
  • Monitoring sensors.

Our need for timesaving convenience has led to the likes of cashier-free smart shopping and autonomous driving as well as unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) logistics. These novelties, of course, all employ optics for sensors, computer vision technology and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems. There are, however, additional optics-based, behind-the-scenes technologies to consider that enable optimum operation. Such innovations include concepts like ‘smart cities’, which strategically tackle rapid urbanisation by using IoT sensors to collect data.

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

Optics Solutions for Infrastructure and Transportation Applications


Sensor-based technology appears to be leading the way in enhancing infrastructure operations and enabling everyday functions to display a ‘smart’ label. One example in the UK is Highways England’s rollout of ‘smart motorways’ which uses sensors and CCTV as part of an active traffic management (ATM) method to monitor traffic volumes; aiming to improve efficiencies and decrease congestion on roads. Often, smart motorways are also equipped with vehicle detectors as part of a MIDAS (motorway incident detection and automatic signalling) system, which can feed information back to the displays for variable speed limits.

As well as ensuring roadways function effectively, sensors are also deployed across areas of towns and cities for applications such as smart parking, the monitoring of tunnels, bridges and roads and waste management.

As well as ensuring roadways function effectively, sensors are also deployed across areas of towns and cities for applications such as smart parking, the monitoring of tunnels, bridges and roads and waste management.


Security plays a crucial role in monitoring zones, keeping residents safe and deterring potential thieves. Cameras are a vital cog in the wheel for connectivity within infrastructure and ensuring optimum operation within these systems is essential. Opting for premium quality on-spec optical components enhances a camera’s longevity and operation; delivering a long-lasting and reliable device. Not only do we supply spearheads within the field with metrology-tested optics, but we are also a go-to resource for many manufacturer’s optical queries; whether it be prototyping or mass production. So, if you have a query regarding the optics required for your CCTV application, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

As well as CCTV, we also have long-standing relationships with many operating within the ANPR/ALPR sectors. Common optics specified for these industries include interference bandpass filters, aspheric lenses and protective windows (including BK7 [or equivalent], germanium and sapphire material options).


Much like the roadways sector, the railway industry shares many similar technologies such as smart ticketing and traffic management systems. CCTV and sensor-based methods of monitoring are commonly found within the field and include examination through the form of cameras for the observation of tracks and overhead cables as well as infrared sensors used for track deviation. Here at Knight Optical, we offer a range of infrared and UV materials for use within rail monitoring applications; including filters, prisms and mirrors — plus many more. If you are uncertain on the optical components or wavelength range required for your project, please contact a member of our technical team today


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.

Whether you want us to manufacture optical components based on your technical drawings, or need us to design parts or systems for your brief, we have the resources to make your concepts a reality. We always start by understanding your particular needs and expectations, and work to ISO 10110, BS 4301-1991, and MIL-PRF-13830B, to produce optical components and sub-assemblies at the correct quality, on time and within budget.

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