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Lens Maker Irix Reaches For The Stars, Literally

Lens Maker Irix Reaches For The Stars, Literally

Lens manufacturer Irix announced the Irix 300 SR, a lens ready for outer space.

Press release:

Young photographic company Irix is reaching infinity…literally.

Irix, young company which successfully entered photography world just few years ago with innovative and properly designed products is reaching another level of evolution. Quality, durability and precision were always strong points of Irix. It has been just proven. Irix has been selected as cooperating company in exciting, high technology project.

Irix Team is proud to announce its participation in the project of the first Polish Earth observation satellite named Światowid. Nanosatellite equipped with the test platform of future Irix 300SR lens, on April 17, 2019, will be elevated to Earth’s orbit.

The collaboration between the manufacturer of Irix lenses and SatRevolution company began in mid 2017. The result of this collaboration is the first prototype of the Irix 300 SR experimental lens, which, combined with the camera installed in the Światowid nanosatellite, will provide the best possible quality of Earth’s images from space.

Irix 300 SR – the first Space Ready Irix lens

The technical requirements for the lens design were a real challenge for the Irix R&D department, as they included strictly defined optical parameters such as: focal length, f-number, optical resolution and very low level of optical aberrations. The design of the lens has to be also modular in order to provide the possibility of use with satellites equipped with cameras of a different resolution and specific diagonal size of the sensor. Such an optical system has to fit designed place for optical system in satellite’s construction. Maximum diameter, but what is more important in case of nanosatellites weight must be strictly controlled. (Światowid’s optical system limit is 300 grams / 0.66 lbs).

Very important for the success of the satellite’s mission are launching standards. Launching into orbit and working in open space is a complicated process. Extremely high standards of materials and technologies used must be fulfilled. The same requirements were applied to the Irix 300SR lens. Design and construction process must follow NASA guidelines for materials and technologies permitted for space flight. In other words, the Irix 300SR has to meet requirements much higher than lenses used on a daily basis by astronauts photographing from the board of the International Space Station.

Today’s launch is a first step in research project supported by EU funds (Polish National Centre for Research and Development). Irix R&D center in Poland for next several months will be preparing lens for next launch. Except optical performance which will be on highest level individual components of the lens as well as the complete lens will have to pass various tests. Among other things resistance to overload as well as mechanical and acoustic vibrations occurring during the launch of the rocket will be tested. The aging tests will verify the lens’ resistance to a wide temperature range of -50°C to 150° (-58°F to 302°F), UV radiation and extreme vacuum conditions.

Knowledge and technologies of this project will be used in other lenses and products intended for the “civil” photographic market. In other words, Irix product will become even better and more innovative.

Ready for the mission

The satellite Światowid with the test platform of future Irix 300SR lens onboard will be delivered to the International Space Station via the NanoRacks operator as part of the Cygnus NG-11 Commercial Resupply Service. The launch of Antares 230 rocket is planned for April 17, 2019 at 4:46 PM EDT (20:46 UTC) from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops, Virginia (US).

Irix Team cordially invites you to visit the special website dedicated to Irix 300SR lens available at https://space.irixlens.com

We also invite you to visit the SatRevolution website at www.satrevolution.com, where you will find more details about the Światowid satellite project.


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