Thermal Imaging from Armasight

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One of the more interesting technologies available at SHOT was some of the thermal imaging equipment. I had the pleasure of visiting the Armasight booths (they had a couple of locations due to some logistical issues with booth assignment). The main booth had a huge monitor plugged into the “video out” of one of the scopes and was imaging the crowd. It was pretty sharp–I started looking around for the shimmering invisibility of Predators… 🙂

The two biggest releases they had were “Pro” models of their Zeus and Apollo lines of weapon sights. While I realize that the price of thermal imaging weapon sights is out of reach of most of us, it was pretty cool to see how advanced this tech is becoming.

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The Zeus is a dedicated sight that mounts on a standard picatinny rail. It has an SVGA 800×600 OLED Display that can be configured with a number of selectable palettes (white hot/black hot/sepia/OEM Custom). The sight will operate on 123A or AA batteries. It comes in a number of available options (2-8×30, 4-16×50, 8-32×100 for lower resolution 336×256; and 1-8×30, 2-16×50, 4-32×100 at 640×512 resolution). And it also has built in Bluetooth to interface with most smart phones (current and future applications).

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The Apollo is a “clip-on” sight that can be used (mounted forward) with existing optics. It has basically the same features as the Zeus and comes with 50mm or 100mm lenses (with either 336×256 or 640×512 resolutions). The make a number of scope mounting systems that will pair with different objective diameters.

In addition to the internal features like a compass, ballistic drop reticule, and inclinometer, both sights have a number of add-ons (available for most of their products) that enhance their utility. The three most useful are a range finder (which displays range inside the viewer), digital recorder, and extended battery pack. All of the add-ons attach through the video port. A really sexy option that was mentioned was use of the video port to pipe a map overlay in.

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Range finder

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Battery pack (with pigtail so other accessories can coexist)

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Digital video recorder

 

They do sell international versions (which are the lower frequency range models). Both sights can be had for between $5k and $10k (which is a bit out of my budget; the Seek Thermal is more my speed right now). I’m guessing this is a normal price range for this tech, though.

I’m assuming a few of you may have thermal imaging sights. Has anyone had an experience with Armasight’s products? What do you think of them?

Visit their Facebook page for some video and pics, follow them on Twitter, or check out their Instagram.



Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie” and assaults 14er in his sandals and beard, or engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming craft beer. To fund these adventures, he writes medical software and builds websites and mobile apps. His latest venture is as one of the founders of IronSights.com; a search engine for all things gun related. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.


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  • skusmc

    I bought an Armasight night vision monocle from optics planet last year, worked good, but it quit working after about two months of light use. Could never get a straight answer on a return. Kept getting bounced around between armasight and optics planet.

    But they tend to get good reviews, so maybe my expierence was a fluke.

    • Andrew

      To skusmc:

      Please contact me about your unit. andrewa@armasight.com

      • Doc Rader

        Awesome to see the vendor responding in the thread!

        • skusmc

          Indeed. Surprised and pleased that someone from armasight contacted me. I’m emailing them now.

          • skusmc

            New update. Andrew from armasight is having me ship my unit directly to his office and he said he’ll personally take care of the repair.

          • skusmc

            One more update; got my new unit in and it works like new. Andrew from Armasight made good his promise and I’m a satisified customer once again.

  • Chris Durkee

    Are there any half-decent thermal monoculars under $500? I’m sure the civilian demand is not high enough for the technology to be economical at this point, but a proper consumer priced setup would be all that’s needed to bring customers into a niche market that is otherwise inaccessible. If the optics market has taught us anything, its that most people wouldn’t mind dropping four-figures on a better product once their needs exceed the capabilities of a cheaper, “novice-model” piece of equipment.

    Are there any major technological/material constraints keeping this from happening, or just a lack of competition and general lack of demand? It’d be cool to see a TFB article that touches on this topic, going into the specifics of the technology and giving some insight into the potential consumer uses.

    • Doc Rader

      I don’t know of any. I’d guess if there are any, the tech would be very old and super bad resolution. The most affordable I’ve seen is the Seek Thermal, but that is obviously not a monocular setup. Coupling with something like Google Glass would still be over $1k, assuming they could port the software.

      But, yeah, I’d love to see a decent wearable thermal for <$1k. It's still too niche, methinks.

  • Josh Curry

    I own the Armasight Apollo thermal. It is a great unit. It is a lower resolution model (324) 30hz refresh but to your point expensive. I have used it now on many night hunts for wild hogs and it really has some amazing range. I have spotted hogs from 1 mile away down a pipeline (although we were not sure they were hogs until we closed in just large heat signatures). I would recommend getting a higher resolution model if anyone is interested. I have only had one strange issue with it as it unexpectedly stopped working one night and nothing I did including multiple sets of batteries would get it to come back on. However as strange as it happened the next morning it fired back up. I have been meaning to contact them about it. Other than that I can tell you from experience the product is absolutely top quality.

    • Doc Rader

      They responded to another commenter on this post–there should be a contact email. Looks like the issue was resolved to customer satisfaction.