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Search and Rescue Applications for Infrared Zoom logo - infrared zoom lenses



Search and Rescue Applications for Infrared Zoom


When lives hang in the balance, clear visibility is a must.Rescue helicopter saving man

We offer a variety of lenses with life-saving versatility, including visibility in conditions like fog or smoke and 100% cold stop efficiency for use in extreme wet or dry environments.  

Why is Zoom so important? You never know in advance how big an area that needs to be searched or where the target is located. 


As a simple example, consider a visible picture taken with a visible (non-IR) zoom lens.  In an optically zoomed image, the detail is maintained because the zoom lens presents more detailed images to the camera as you zoom. A person riding a wave, a small flash in a smoke filled house, or a blip on the screen that looks promising can be instantly magnified and examined closely, without losing detail.


Compare that to digital zoom. With digital techniques, there is no additional information being created as you zoom.  The same number of pixels are viewed, just larger.  The result is that the zoomed image appears “pixelated” or blocky.  Rather than provide additional information upon zooming, an image using digital zoom can sometimes actually be harder to see.



In search and rescue operations, seconds count. 

With continuous optical zoom, the best image can be presented at all times to the end user.  When searching an area, optical zoom lens technology allows your or your end user to set the instantaneous field of view to whatever is required for the mission at hand. If you are flying at 1000 feet or walking along a perimeter, the field of view can be adjusted on as needed. You decide the way it should be when you are out in the field, not leave it to us to arbitrarily decide here at our warm, dry factory. When the target is found, it can be magnified, quickly without losing sight of it. 



Detect, recognize and identify with a simple flip of a switch, or with continuous zoom.

Infrared Search and Track is used for finding downed pilots or for rescues at sea.  Increasingly, infrared is also being employed during forest fires to determine which areas are burning hottest and the most dangerous.  Police use IR for night location of suspects or missing persons.  


Need this already integrated with a sensor? We can help. Tell us the mission and our dedicated team of engineers will help you get the hardware to where it needs to be.



Buying from

As any buyer will tell you, often the lens selection process is bogged down in details and complexity. At, it’s our goal to simplify the process.


With stock or custom choices, we can either provide a lens, a lens already integrated to a sensor, or a variety of options, given the application requirements. We can work directly with a camera supplier to ensure a match, then have you purchase the lens from us and the camera from the supplier. If you have any questions about whether one of our lenses can be integrated with a particular camera, or need us to provide the integration, just ask.



Stock Lenses & Camera Systems

We recommend you begin the process by visiting the Products section of our website, where you can scroll through our stock selection or narrow your search by function using our guided search engine. We are also happy to work with you directly. We’ll simply need to gather some details on your application or need. Although a detailed specification is preferred, a simple phone call or one paragraph description will do to get things moving along.


Click HERE to view our full line of stock infrared zoom lenses.



Custom Lenses & Camera Systems

If you feel that you may need custom lenses or camera systems, we’re also happy to help. has specialized in the optical generation of lenses from a range of special materials. Modern lens design and manufacture also allows for less expensive Aspheres, or lenses of non-radial shape, that can reduce the number of lens elements in a given system. As a division of Computer Optics Inc., is one of the few US based small businesses that has the ability to design AND manufacture zoom lenses all within the same building.


Please feel free to call us at 603-889-2116 or use our contact form to send an email.

Guided Lens Search

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Frieze, IR Optical Zoom

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