Pulsar introduces a completely new thermal imaging monocular, the Axion XM, based on a 12µm Amorphous Silicon microbolometer sensor featuring a 320x240 resolution at 50hz, and a groundbreaking new thermal imaging riflescope, the Thermion, of which “sneak peeks” were leaked to the public as early as December 2018.
Pulsar Axion XM thermal imaging monoculars: features
Let’s focus first on the Axion, as it is the smallest, lightest and most compact Thermal Imaging monocular ever released by Pulsar; available in two models, differing by the focal length of the main Germanium lens – following a long standing tradition, the naming of the devices include the focal length, so we have the XM30, with a 4x, and the XM38, with 5.5x native magnification. The native magnification may seem high considering the focal length of the objective lens, but it is thanks to the very high “crop factor” offered by the much smaller size of the 12µm sensor that makes it possible; a 4x digital zoom is also available.
This is the “mystery monocular” of which we exclusively published leaked images some time ago and indeed, we can confirm that its technology is unlike any previously fielded by Pulsar. Additionally, an entry-level version of the Axion XM30 is available, the “Key XM30”, using a Chalcogenide lens instead of Germanium (yielding a lower 2.5x native magnification), an LCOS microdisplay and no support for Wi-Fi and Stream Vision.
The material of the housing has been upgraded from the composite technopolymer used in most of Pulsar’s optronic products to a rugged machined Magnesium alloy, for the ultimate in strength and lightness.
Both Axion monoculars sport a color 1024x768 AMOLED microdisplay in the eyepiece, built-in video recording capability, support for the Wi-Fi operated Stream Vision smartphone app, USB port,almost instant-on performance thanks to state-of-the-art electronic technology and processing engine. The Axion XM 30 and 38 weigh respectively only 250 and 270 grams, and measure 143x41x69mm and 149x49x70mm, due essentially to the larger 38mm objective lens. Power is supplied via a 18650 Li-Ion rechargeable battery.
Pulsar Thermion thermal imaging riflescope
The Pulsar Thermion thermal imaging riflescope appears to be a fairly unremarkable, traditional daytime riflescope: nothing could be further than the truth. A flagship performance thermal engine has been squeezed in the form factor of a sleek, familiar and streamlined riflescope, with a standard 30mm mounting surface tube, and rugged, full machined metal construction. The Thermion is available in two different models, the XM and XP. The XM is based on the same 12µm microbolometer sensor with 320x240 resolution at 50 hz of the Axion (which, by the way, paves the way for a “XP” version of the Axion with higher resolution sensor to be possibly released in the future), offered in three focal lengths options, 30, 38 and 50mm, for a native magnification respectively of 3.5x, 4x and 5.5x; all models feature additional digital zoom up to 4x. The highest performing model is the XP, offered with a 38 and a 50 mm front objective lens, with a superior 640х480 50 hz Amorphous Silicon microbolometer sensor with 17µm pixel pitch; native magnification is 1.5 and 1.9x, and 8x max digital zoom allows a 12x and 15.2x magnification respectively.
Both Thermion XM and XP riflescopes feature a digital reticle, with the value of the click dependant on the magnification and sensor technology, a fast focus eyepiece with a HD 1024x768 AMOLED microdisplay, and a decent 50 mm eye relief, a sealed IPX7 housing, rechargeable Li-Ion battery, a USB port, Video recording, StreamVision support and included remote control. Objectives all use high quality Germanium, F:1.2 fast lenses with protective coatings. Weight is 750 g for all models except the 50mm lens equipped optics, which weigh 900 g; length varies from 387 mm up to a max of 402 mm.
Many more features of the Thermion and Axion thermal imaging optics will be discussed in our upcoming exclusive test. Stay tuned with all4shooters!