The company is dedicated to continuous research and development, always pushing the boundaries of what is possible in optical technology. With this accomplishment, Circle Optics reiterates its commitment to contributing to a future where advanced imaging becomes an indispensable tool for understanding our ever-evolving world. “We’re here to shape the future technological landscape,” said Robert Metzger, Discovery’s Principal Investigator.
[Rochester, New York, August 29, 2023] – Leading innovation in the realm of advanced optical technology, Circle Optics is proud to announce the successful completion of its project, Discovery, backed by an AFWERX grant of $750,000 (USD). The grant was awarded to develop a preliminary opto-mechanical design alongside a multi-telescopic camera channel breadboard. The end goal is to harness the potential of high-resolution, panoramic, swath-scan imaging of our planet. This project created the technology to take multiple high-resolution images and combine them into a single panoramic image.
One of the groundbreaking outcomes of this technology is the potential for an arced array of adjacent narrow FOV (Field of View) CubeSat-sized telescopic cameras. This intricate design integrates a mechanical adjustment, ensuring precise image alignment between adjacent camera channels, eliminating any overlap, and ensuring seamless panoramic imaging.
Discovery’s state-of-the-art technology aims to redefine the norms of geospatial imaging. With an unprecedented capability to increase both speed and accuracy, while substantially reducing revisit time, the new design allows for simultaneous image capture of adjacent areas. The implications of this are far-reaching; faster and more accurate imaging will enable a comprehensive, real-time understanding of the Earth’s surface and its unfolding events. With a constellation of a few hundred satellites Circle Optics could provide continuous coverage of a high profile strip of earth at a continuous refresh rate.
“Traditional long range cameras have a narrow telescopic field of view that feels like looking through a straw. This technology opens up that field for the first time, creating a field of view as large as the customer wants for ISR applications, with superb range and resolution across the entire field, “ said Zak Niazi, Circle Optics CEO.
The completion of this project marks a significant milestone in the roadmap of Circle Optics. The company is dedicated to continuous research and development, always pushing the boundaries of what is possible in optical technology. With this accomplishment, Circle Optics reiterates its commitment to contributing to a future where advanced imaging becomes an indispensable tool for understanding our ever-evolving world. “We’re here to shape the future technological landscape,” said Robert Metzger, Discovery’s Principal Investigator.
Circle Optics wishes to extend its profound gratitude to AFWERX for their generous grant and belief in the project’s transformative potential. This collaboration exemplifies what is possible when great minds and resources come together, and casts a promising light on the future of Earth imaging.
As the innovation arm of the Department of the Air Force and powered by the Air Force Research Laboratory, AFWERX accelerates agile and affordable capability transitions by teaming innovative technology developers with Airman and Guardian talent.
The three core arms of AFWERX – AFVentures, Spark and Prime – serve to expand the defense industrial base for advanced technologies, empower Airmen and Guardian talent, and drive faster technology transition to operational capability.
AFWERX teams internationally across academia, industry and government to develop technology, expand talent, and transition dual-use capabilities.
Founded in 2017, Circle Optics has developed patented technology enabling the ability to capture the entire world in a stitch-less, instant 360-degree imaging. Circle Optics invented a method to co-locate the centers of prospective or the entrance pupils of multiple lenses to create a combined panoramic image without any perspective errors. Doing so, Circle Optics has solved the parallax issue optically, whereas everyone else is trying to solve the problem computationally and bandage the solution after the fact. This unique capability is revolutionizing aerospace, unmanned flight, and enhancing immersive experiences globally. With 14 patents and pending, the team has optics/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.