I love a good science-fiction movie, and Hollywood has brought us some great ones. Gifted writers unconstrained by the physics of the real world work alongside filmmaking artisans to portray fanciful capabilities driven solely by the creative capacity of the artists themselves. Future warriors on the silver screen can move, shoot and communicate in ways of which our parents’ generation might only have dreamt. Oddly enough, however, if you follow the tech developments driving modern military sensor technology, the real world is now capable of stuff not even imagined in Hollywood.
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Steiner is a respected name in tactical optics. With 67 years’ worth of experience building tactical glass, Steiner’s reputation is both storied and well deserved. Made in the United States with a foundation built upon legendary German optical quality, Steiner optics are rugged, cutting edge and effective. With the recent acquisitions of Diffraction Ltd. and Sensor Technology Systems (STS), Steiner has built a technology base adequate to produce the entire spectrum of state-of-the-art electronic sighting, imaging, information management and “blue force” identification gear to equip the next generation of warfighters. The result is a quantum leap beyond anything you might see in Star Wars.
Owning The Night
In eons past, night was a time for rest, even in a combat zone. Darkness made effective command and control impossible, and the inability to identify friend from foe made most nighttime combat operations impractical. Stand-to was always just before dawn because that was the universally accepted time to attack. For the American military at least, those days are gone, never to return.
Steiner’s night-vision sensors detect radiation of a diverse nature. Infrared, ultraviolet, visible spectrum and low-light images beyond the threshold of the unaided eye are all now within the capabilities of equipment compact and reliable enough to aid individual soldiers. Steiner’s AN/PVS-21 low-profile night-vision goggle (LPNVG) is smaller, lighter and 3 to 4 inches shorter than previous systems and is available in both monocular and binocular versions. This system is designed specifically to provide aggressive special operations capabilities in air, land and water environments. The resolution and sensor fusion built into this device make it capable of terrestrial use over rugged terrain, suitable for applications in high-speed vehicles on the ground, water or air, and effective in the CQB realm as well.
Steiner’s Clip-On Thermal Module (COTM) adds thermal imaging capability to the AN/PVS-21. Various spectral bands provide unprecedented capability to penetrate battlefield obstacles such as fog, smoke or darkness, and the device injects thermal imagery directly onto the eyepiece of the host goggles. Such technology renders conventional assumptions about cover and concealment obsolete.
Heads Up Display
Managing information in today’s fluid battlespace is as important as the operation of weapons and the effectiveness of body armor. Sensor data comes from a wide variety of previously unimagined platforms, and the quick and effective integration of this tactical information is what ensures modern American warfighters retain their proper technological edge on the battlefield. In support of this mission, Steiner produces the Conformal Enhanced Heads Up Display, or CEHUD.
The CEHUD interfaces seamlessly with the AN/PVS-21 to provide a digital video overlay along with key sensor information such as communication, navigation, threat assessment and targeting data directly onto a warfighter’s field of view. Users can adjust the power, brightness and contrast with a fingertip. Additionally, situational awareness as well as target detection and identification are greatly enhanced to substantially reduce the sensor-to-shooter gap.
Lasers & Sights
Once the target is identified, Steiner’s line of DBALs (Dual Beam Aiming Lasers) offers enhanced precision in visible-, low- and no-light scenarios. Manufactured with cutting-edge, high-definition lens technology, the Steiner line of DBAL systems significantly enhances night-vision performance and offers both visible and infrared means of illuminating targets at distances greater than 1,000 meters. In other words, Steiner’s DBALs enable small arms precision while operating under night-vision systems.
The Steiner Intelligent Combat Sight (ICS) is a ruggedized sighting suite that integrates a laser rangefinder and ballistic calculator into a compact sight small enough to ride atop a typical infantry rifle. With the push of a button, the ICS instantly provides the range to the target via an eye-safe laser and calculates an illuminated, trajectory-compensated aiming point based upon ammunition ballistics, distance and the angle to the target out to 800 meters. The ICS ensures increased accuracy, a shorter engagement time and greater first-round hit probability.
Blue Force Protection
Modern sensors offer unprecedented awareness and today’s weapons provide previously unimagined lethality, but the deadly nature of today’s battlefield makes “blue force” protection harder than ever. The Steiner Star Beacon is a thermal combat identification device that covertly marks blue force personnel and equipment for friendly sensors with no visible signature. The Star Beacon is also undetectable by conventional image- intensifier technology.
Capable of being mounted on a helmet, vest, rucksack or vehicle, the Star Beacon runs for five hours on six CR123 batteries and emits in a full hemispherical pattern for easy detection by appropriate ground and airborne thermal imaging systems. The detection range is between 1 and 10 kilometers. In short, the Steiner Star Beacon reliably protects the good guys and enhances the force commander’s capacity to control the battlefield.
Steiner allows modern American warfighters to see what others do not. The recent acquisition of Sensor Technology Systems and Diffraction Ltd. cements Steiner’s position at the very pinnacle of defense technology.
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By providing modern soldiers and commanders with access to literally unprecedented imaging, information management, target detection and identification, force protection and illumination capabilities, Steiner optimizes stealth, surprise and tactical lethality. Science-fiction writers may imagine some extraordinary capabilities with which to equip the future soldiers on the silver screen, but they are going to have to hustle if they ever hope to catch up with Steiner.
For more information, please visit Steiner website or call 831-373-0701.