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Questar Long Distance Surveillance / Ultra Telephoto Lens SystemsWhile typically deployed for use in long distance surveillance or studies at static installations or in mobile vehicles, when installed onto an optional computer controlled or manually guided mounting then these can be employed to observe moving objects too from land sea or air. When installed from a suitable vantage point, these (and their larger 180mm cousins) can be employed to observe nearby targets, or great expanses of territory or coastline by day or when suitably equipped by day or night.
Our 90mm models are so well made that they may show an object as small as a bicycle spoke from a distance of 1 mile away, the 180mm and larger models have the capability to reveal as fine details from twice the distance. As the aperture is increased, the ability of a similarly well constructed system to show an image clearly should improve proportionately. The 90mm systems tend to be sufficient for those agencies involved in surveillance or studies in an urban environment where the target may be as close as about 100 feet (30 meters). The need to use a 180mm model may be indicated when distances are 200 feet or are far greater, or when the target to be observed is not well illuminated, or in shadows.
Being "apochromatic" systems that provide razor sharp images free of false colors, the color fidelity and resolution have permitted drug enforcement agents to realize more quickly the nature of contraband that may be involved in a transaction, even when observed from great distances. These same qualities have permitted the safe, remote studies of wildlife and endangered species - at times reading banding information or other identifying marks on an animal thereby avoiding interfering with the animals day to day activities.
We have engineered these systems over many years for government use so that they:
Fire department HAZMAT personnel can read placards, and study damaged containers from safer distances. A license plate on a car may be read or photographed at a distance of several miles even with our most compact 90mm models, or at much greater distances with the larger models.
2. The systems can be used visually, and they are ideal for gathering film or video images that is required for evidence. They offer a wider range of magnifications each with a degree of clarity that can not be approached by traditional (and physically much longer and heavier) refractive "Zoom" lenses.
3. These are true apochromatic systems providing images free of false color revealing the true color of substances observed. For example, experienced law enforcement have been able to discern the nature of suspected substances being held in a pouch from great distances by noting the color, granularity or texture.
4. These systems are weather and corrosion resistant, and engineered to be "Agent Proof": designed so that inexperienced operators are not likely to break them or lose components. And yet these are simple to learn to operate, and quick to put into service.
5. While the manually operated MFL series have no real competition in performance and reliability, the highly capable automated "Step Zoom" systems are unrivalled in their capability to very quickly change magnification, focus and compensate for changes of light almost instantaneously - controlled on the scene by an electronic keypad, or remotely by a personal computer from anywhere in the world!
Above: Questar Step Zoom 180 System with Control Keypad and optional video camera attached.
The determination of a best fit solution depends on many variables including the dimensions and resolution of the CCD or film camera. We invite you to contact us to let us help you choose a suitable solution for your requirements.
When the Apollo astronauts reported seeing a twelve and a half foot object from 1000 miles (1625 km) through a Questar, it was on the front page of the "New York Times".
In 1985 an aircraft hijacker was identified from a distance of two kilometers (1.23 miles). In 1986 a Questar was used to identify the cargo being unloaded from a freighter in Nicaragua from twenty five kilometers (15.4 miles). When video evidence of a SCUD missile launcher in Kuwait was presented to the United Nations for sanction of "Desert Storm", our Questar Step Zoom 180 provided those images from a distance of thirty kilometers (18.5 miles). These are but of few of the publicly known successes of the Questar systems which have been a leader in the international long range surveillance market for more than thirty years.
With experience in advising about the use of and producing such precision durable systems. we are in a position to provide to you an integrated system that is optimized to perform how and where you need it to perform. We integrate our lenses with the best electro-optics, support structures, motion control, packaging and environmental protection. An entire system may need to fit into a small case; including lens, tripod, camera and recorder. Or the requirement may be for a permanently installed day/night system with remote control of lens functions, pan and tilt, and camera selection, with complete remote control over image contrast and enhancement. Our experience takes the guesswork out of problem solving.
What began as a single lens design has developed into a full series of surveillance lenses, with accessories: fully integrated systems.
All our lens optics are manufactured (at a facility very near to Company Seven in Maryland) with hand-figured, matched optics, with final assembly done using the same care that is put into our space-qualified telescopes. All systems are designed for their specific purpose however, they all share some common features:
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