Defense and Homeland Security

Tough Military Fiber Optics
that Meet All Applicable Military Specs

The military specifies the smallest, lightest, toughest, and highest-performing equipment in the world—equipment that must function flawlessly in any environment, anywhere on the planet. Rising to that challenge, INCOM produces fiber optic components that meet all applicable mil specs, helping the U.S. Armed Forces to advance missions using night vision systems, heads-up displays, cockpit displays, and missile navigation.

Nearly 65,000 U.S. Army Abrams tanks use INCOM fused fiber optic tapers to view intensified images, allowing tank drivers to maintain daytime visual acuity at night. Our fiber optic faceplates make heads-up displays (HUDs) better, allowing pilots to multitask in the most sophisticated fighting aircraft in the world. INCOM’s contributions to military systems protect soldiers and advance missions in the most perilous and demanding environments.

Supporting U.S. Superiority in Night Warfare

By supplying fiber optic faceplates and inverters for the image intensifying technology used in the U.S. military’s night vision goggles, INCOM optics allow the equipment to capture ambient light and magnify it thousands of times. Since the equipment is sensitive to a broad spectrum of light (from visible to infrared), this technology allows night fighters to see, maneuver, and engage targets at night or during periods of reduced visibility.


Image of the AN/PVS-5C Night Vision Device that was cut in half and depotted. Shows the functional components of a night vision device. (David Kitson, Personal Collection, Uploaded, Available for free use with attribution, uploaded to provide an “inside” image of a Night Vision Device. )

Fiber Optics Aid Flight Data Transmission

INCOM faceplates are also used in heads-up displays (HUDs) in military aircraft, where cockpit information is focused at infinity and projected onto the pilot’s visor. Flight data is transmitted digitally to a small cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor attached to the side of the pilot’s helmet. INCOM faceplates display the CRT image so that prisms can project it onto the pilot’s visor. This allows pilots to see vital information without shifting their gaze from the horizon. The compact size and light weight of the INCOM fiber optic components allow this advanced and life-saving technology to be mounted within a pilot’s helmet.

Tapers for Image Intensification

Image intensifiers used in night vision for the military rely on a high-resolution, artifact-free image. INCOM’s tapers play a vital role because they have the small-fiber diameter, high-fiber quality and low fixed-pattern noise required to create such high-quality images.  These tapers are used in an image intensifier coupling in order to relay the output image to a CCD sensor or other device. INCOM’s fiber optic tapers are far superior to optical lenses for this process due to a much higher coupling efficiency, which yields a near-perfect image.

Biometric Identity Solution

INCOM’s fused fiber optics have been used for both optical and ultrasonic biometric imaging.  The fused fiber optic offers unique advantages to optical finger print identification.  The fiber optic itself is used as the imaging window, allowing for color finger print scans. These systems provide more information, zero distortion, a robust fiber optic surface, and dual use as a document scanner. These systems can be produced at a fraction of the weight and cost of traditional technology.

Alternatively, INCOM’s polymer fused fiber optic has been used for a non optical biometric solution, ultrasonic imaging.  This technology has received FBI certification and addresses key performance requirements for military and law enforcement personnel. INCOM’s polymer fiber optic allows for a reduced footprint and thickness which will enable the development of a small, lightweight, mobile field biometric solution capable of capturing high-quality four finger “slap-and-rolled” fingerprint imagery for military and law enforcement applications.

Neutron Detection

Homeland security teams have a difficult task – to detect and provide warning before a radioactive attack occurs. INCOM’s MCP product can help accomplish this task by enhancing the performance, speed, and sensitivity of sensor systems that can accurately locate and characterize nuclear threats.

The currently favored neutron detectors are based on pressurized gaseous 3He tubes. Such systems are very expensive and of limited supply for widespread application, due in part to the fact that 3He is artificially produced. Unfortunately the supply of 3He is limited to production as a byproduct from the decay of tritium (which has a 12.3 year half-life); tritium is produced either as part of weapons programs as a booster for nuclear weapons or as a byproduct of reactor operation.

Using INCOM’s MCP technology a neutron detector can be produced without the use of 3He.  This new approach is based on a solid-state 10B- and Gd-doping concept for use in compact, low power systems to detect the secondary charged particles emitted from these materials.

Incom has supported 20 years of U.S. superiority in night warfare.

In military aircraft, cockpit information is focused at infinity and projected onto the pilot’s visor with an Incom faceplate.