ORLANDO, FL / ACCESSWIRE / December 9, 2021 / LightPath Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:LPTH) (“LightPath,” the “Company,” or “we”), a leading vertically integrated global manufacturer and integrator of proprietary optical and infrared components and high-level assemblies, today announced that it has been awarded a grant by the European Space Agency (ESA) to further develop chalcogenide materials for use in space applications as an alternative to germanium crystals currently in use. Drawing from, extensive expertise in optical elements production from both materials (germanium and chalcogenide glasses), LightPath’s subsidiary in Latvia, ISP Optics, will evaluate and compare properties of the chalcogenide glass coated with antireflective coating with the same type of parts manufactured from germanium to validate the usage in space industry applications.
The funding awarded to LightPath by ESA will be used to develop chalcogenide glass materials, such as its Black Diamond™ (“BD6™”), to replace germanium in space imaging and communication systems. Germanium oxide is a rare material, derived primarily from large deposits of fossil germanium in China and Russia. LightPath’s BD6 chalcogenide line of infrared lenses is an ideal alternative to products made from germanium. BD6 thermal imaging lenses and related assemblies are produced using the Black Diamond™ chalcogenide-based glass compound developed internally by LightPath. Chalcogenide glass material is inherently optically athermal in addition to offering great transmission over a very wide range of temperature, making it ideal for diversified industrial uses.
The market for commercial satellite imaging is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 10.8% and reach $7 Billion by 20301. LightPath is a global leader in infrared optics and has recently been positioning itself to serve the growing market of optics for space applications. This project follows recent announcements made by LightPath of obtaining the exclusive license for infrared materials developed by the U.S. Navy Research Labs, as well as its announcement of funding received from Space Florida for the co-development of a thermal camera for low earth orbiting applications, together with RP Optical Lab Ltd. of Israel.
“We are excited to be chosen as an exclusive partner by the European Space Agency to explore and further develop the next generation of infrared materials for use in space. This award is a vote of confidence in our decision to focus on infrared imaging, and on the investments made in recent years in our operation in Latvia,” said LightPath Latvia’s General Manager, Eriks Bedikis.
Mark Palvino, VP of Global Sales
LightPath Technologies, Inc.