Application of Nondestructive Testing Used in Optical Metrology for the US Army

Detection, recognition, identification, and determination of a situation is one of the paramount attributes of today’s military. Sighting systems of advance optical, mechanical and digital imaging systems make this possible. Armored and unarmored mobile systems such as tanks, HMMWV (aka HUMVEE) as well as infantry and snipers all need unique and specific imaging sights in order to accomplish their designed function. At Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey the Armament Research Development & Engineering Center or ARDEC is responsible to ensure the latest technology in optics is in the hands of the Army. To assure the right design and capabilities meet the right users in the right environment, quantitative and qualitative design, development, and continuous testing and evaluation is necessary. In the Small Arms Fire Control and Optical Technologies Division of ARDEC the optics metrology laboratory is using a wide array of nondestructive tests (NDT) and analysis on such systems. The methods used are not always a commonly applied tactic such that the common world would typically used. This paper provides a brief overview on the competencies in NDT that are applied to military optics and imaging systems, including passive direct view optics (DVO), infrared (IR) or thermal detection systems and night vision devices. The methods that will be briefly discussed include visual, laser, thermographic, immersion or leak testing, radiographic testing, and pre/post testing after destructive examination.


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