CapTech Optronics

Jun 27, 2017

Type of activity: CapTech
Participating Countries: All
Other partners: n/a

The CapTech Electro Optical Sensors Technologies’ (Optronics) main objective is to support the participating Member States in research and technology initiatives on Sensors and Electronic Warfare Systems aimed at fulfilling future defence and security capability requirements.

The Optronics Captechs promotes and manages R&T activities in underpinning technologies in 6 technological areas:

  • Photonic/Optical Materials & Device Technology
  • Information and Signal Processing Technology
  • Design Technologies for Platforms & Weapons
  • Electronic Warfare Systems & Directed Energy Technologies
  • Signature Control & Signature Reduction
  • Sensor Systems

The work of the Optronics CapTech is generally of TRL in the ranges of 2 to 5 and is centred on laser radar technologies (including active imaging), hyperspectral and multispectral imaging, alert and image processing and electro-optics countermeasures (close link to Capability Development Plan priorities). Protecting and ensuring the freedom of movement of soldiers was identified as the main capability need addressed by the CapTech Optronics.

These technologies hold a high potential for exploring dual-use synergies and for cooperation with the Radar CapTech on the Preparatory Action for Defence Research. Electro-optical sensors are also relevant to many other military capabilities like CBRN stand-off detection and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). Investments in defence electro-optics R&T are mandatory for the achievement of the necessary capability improvements. 


Way of working

The Optronics CapTech meetings are held 3 times per year, with a maximum duration of 2 days. All the information is shared in its Workspace. Prior or right after a CapTech meeting, a workshop or seminar might take place. The Workshops objectives are to achieve concrete outcomes, such as the preparation of a project or fulfilment of an extraordinary request (topics for calls for proposals, SRA development, technology assessment, etc.) The workshops are “hands-on” and participative. On the other hand, the seminars objective is to raise the awareness and knowledge about an specific technology identified in the CapTech, and gain insight on the potential of that technology for defence applications. Subject matter experts will be invited as speakers.

To become an Optronics CapTech member ( CapTech Governmental Expert – CGE -  or CapTech non-Governmental Expert - CnGE), please follow the instructions included in the R&T General site, and be aware that your request will be forwarded to the relevant CapTech National Coordinator - CNC. The approval of the CNC will be needed to become a CGE or CnGE, and also for your participation in a CapTech event.

The activities of the CapTech Electro Optical Sensors Technologies are guided by the Optronics CapTech Strategic Research Agenda (SRA). The aim of the SRA is to establish roadmaps for future European investments in the development of military electro-optics. This involves forecasting future civilian technology development in electro-optics relevant to military users, identifying areas where civilian technology development will not be sufficient for the needs of the military user and creating roadmaps for future investments in military supported technology development. The key domains defined through the roadmaps are: spectral imaging, alert processing, laser countermeasures, laser sensors, imaging software, modelling and imaging hardware. As technologies evolve very fast in this domain, especially for civilian applications which can also be used for military requirements, the need to update the SRA was identified and it is currently undergoing revision. The updated SRA will focus on the perspective of the upcoming 5 – 10 years for which it will outline a roadmap for R&T investment in the CapTech. It will be set in the context of the military capabilities requiring this technical base, the underpinning civil development trends and the evolution of the industrial capacity in Europe.

Based on the SRA, any CapTech member can propose ideas for new activities (projects, workshops, seminars, etc.) at any meeting. The ideas are collected and, if not immediately detailed with clear expression of interest, it is the role of the moderator to persist and revisit what remains to then re-launch or definitively ‘kill’ an idea. The active involvement of non-governmental members in proposing solutions for governmental needs, with a consistent and systematic ground for dialogue can definitely encourage cooperation.


 Optronics CapTech Portfolio:
  • DUCAS - Detection in Urban scenario using Combined Airborne imaging Sensors.
  • MISSION - Mid Infrared Semiconductor laSer modules for defence applicatIONs.
  • ECOMOS - European COmputer Model for Optronic System performance prediction
  • ALWS - Airborne platform effects on Laser systems and electro-optical Warning Sensors


Participating Member States

  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech
  • Germany
  • Estonia
  • Ireland
  • Greece
  • Spain
  • France
  • Croatia
  • Italy
  • Cyprus
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Hungary
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Austria
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • UK