During SHOT Show 2024, it was possible to see one of the latest products of the well know Armasight company: the small Sidekick 640and 320 thermal imaging monoculars, adapted for mounting on a helmet, which were available in stores in the USA since the end of 2023.
The more expensive model, the Sidekick 640, uses the ArmaCORE™ 640×480 px @ 12 µm thermal sensor (NETD < 40 mK). To ensure proper observation comfort, the image is displayed at a frequency of 60 Hz on an OLED screen with a resolution of 1024x768 pixels, with an eye relief of 15 mm. The product is equipped with 19 mm F/1.0 optics, which in the configuration used, gives a basic 1x optical magnification (with the possibility of using a 4x digital zoom) and a wide field of view reaching 24.16°×17.37°.
The manufacturer described the possibility of detection, recognition and identification of a human-sized target during observations at 709, 177 and 111 meters respectively.
The device is powered by a single CR123A (with an operating time of 1.5 h), but the set includes an extension allowing it use of two batteries (extending the operating time up to 5.5 h) or a single 16650 battery. There is also a USB-C port compatible with external power sources.
Additional functions of the monocular include a video and photo recorder, and the internal memory allows you to save up to 4 hours of footage. The thermal imager is also adapted to work with a PVS-14 night vision device mounted on the other eye, which is possible with the use of the Rayvn Rail made by The Rayvn Group LLC, recommended by the manufactures.
The Sidekick 640 has dimensions 145x50x65 mm and weighs only 242 grams. The device is protected against the adverse effects of dust and water in the IP67 standard and is covered by a three-year manufacturer's warranty.
The Armasight Sidekick 320 model retains most of the features of its more expensive counterpart, but it uses a 320x240 px resolution sensor and smaller optics (9.1 mm F /1.0) to maintain the base 1x optical magnification. For this reason, the device is also slightly lighter (208 g).
The field of view is similar (24.18°×18.13°), and the DRI ranges, for a target the size of a human, are 331, 85 and 53 meters.
The Armasight Sidekick 640 costs close to 3,000 USD, while the Sidekick 320 model costs less than 2,000 USD. However, both products are subject to ITAR regulations.