Circle Optics Awarded $450,000 AFWERX Tactical Funding Increase for Hydra II System Development 

May 14, 2024 | Company News | 0 comments



Circle Optics has been awarded an AFWERX Tactical Funding increase of $450,000 to advance the development of the Hydra II system. This funding will support the integration of GPU technology, enhancing the system's ability to stream high-resolution 360-degree video in real time. The unique design of the Hydra line eliminates parallax errors, improving performance for tactical, educational, and surveillance applications.

Rochester, New York – Circle Optics is pleased to announce that it has been awarded an AFWERX Tactical Funding increase of $450,000 to continue the development of the Hydra II system. This additional funding will support the integration of GPU technology. 

An industry-wide limiting factor in the development of multi-camera 360-degree panoramic cameras has been the immense software overhead associated with fixing problems caused by parallax between adjacent camera channels featuring standard optics. The unique optical design of the Hydra line of products eliminates the need for software correction of parallax errors and frees computational resources to concentrate on streaming high-resolution 360-degree video at real-time data rates. 

The integration of GPU technology with our Hydra II system empowers it to handle high-quality, real-time video streaming without latency, leveraging the power of 5G networks. This advancement significantly enhances the user experience by providing seamless and instant access to high-definition video feeds essential for tactical, educational, and surveillance applications. 

Circle Optics’ Chief Technology Officer, Allen Krisiloff, shared his thoughts: 

“GPUs excel at the parallel processing necessary to achieve the high data throughput needed to assemble, stream, and store very large video images at very high frame rates. To extract the maximum value out of GPU hardware, our software algorithms must be optimized for massively parallel operations. The AFWERX Tactical Funding award provides the resources we need to revise and test our current code-base for the GPU environment.” 

“The views expressed are those of Circle Optics and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.” 

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About Circle Optics 

Founded in 2017, Circle Optics, Inc., camera-system experts, are known for designing the world’s only 360-video systems capable of delivering real-time, panoramic imaging without the need for stitching or gimbals. This innovative design utilizes unique polygonal lenses—unlike traditional circular lenses—to eliminate distortion and artifacts, enabling unprecedented real-time applications for panoramic imaging systems. The system’s lens-based stitching technology ensures flawless imagery right from capture, bypassing common digital post-processing challenges. By eliminating the need for intensive post-production stitching, these cameras produce immaculate, real-time images. This efficiency allows for the leveraging of edge processing for advanced applications like image recognition, enhancing both performance and utility. This unique capability is revolutionizing aerospace, unmanned flight, and immersive experiences globally. With 16 patents granted and pending, the team has optics and mechanical engineering expertise from IMAX, Kodak, L3Harris, and others. Circle Optics is located in Rochester, New York, known as the optics capital of the world. For more information, visit:  

About AFRL   

The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 12,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit  

 About AFWERX  

As the innovation arm of the DAF and a directorate within the Air Force Research Laboratory, AFWERX brings cutting-edge American ingenuity from small businesses and start-ups to address the most pressing challenges of the DAF. AFWERX employs approximately 325 military, civilian and contractor personnel at six hubs and sites executing an annual $1.4 billion budget. Since 2019, AFWERX has executed 4,697 contracts worth more than $2.6 billion to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base and drive faster technology transition to operational capability. For more information, visit:    

Media Contact  

Jennifer Sertl  

Director of Marketing, Circle Optics  

+ 1 (585) 704-5202   

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