June 28th, 2010

Amazing New MicroSight Technology Moves into Production

Microsight Rifle lens Zone PlateIn May, we reported on the new MicroSight invented by engineer (and shooter) David Crandall of the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The MicroSight keeps both near and far objects in sharp focus, simultaneously imaging two distinct focal planes. This break-through technology allows the shooter to see a sharp image of the target and a sharp image of his iron sights at the same time.

The MicroSight is not a lens per se. Rather it is a phased Zone Plate that focuses light beams through diffraction. Zone Plates, first studied by Frenchman Augustin-Jean Fresnel in the 1800s, focus light via a set of concentric rings that alternate between transparent and opaque. The transparent sections let some light waves pass through unchanged, focusing objects that are far away (basically, at infinity). But light passing the edges of the opaque rings gets diffracted, which brings nearby objects into focus. This produces a seemingly impossible result — sharp images of distant and near objects, simultaneously.

Microsight Rifle lens Zone Plate

The MicroSight is not just a laboratory experiment. Prototype versions have been crafted and placed on test rifles. INL has licensed the technology to Apollo Optical Systems which is right now working with gunsight manufacturers to adapt the MicroSight design to a variety of products. In the future, some MicroSight-equipped products might add refractive power to the Zone Plate, allowing target magnification as well as focusing.

WATCH the VIDEO below to see the MicroSight in Use and to learn how it works…

YouTube Preview Image

Microsight Rifle sight Zone Plate

Similar Posts:

Tags: , , , , , , , ,