Our History

Photonis Defense History
Photonis Defense History, 2018


The Photonis Group splits Photonis USA Pennsylvania into two separate companies naming them Photonis Defense, headquartered in Lancaster, PA and Photonis Scientific, headquartered in Sturbridge, MA.  Photonis Defense operates under a Special Security Agreement with the Defense Security Service which enables them to maintain a classified facility clearance.

Photonis Defense History, 2015


Acquisition of Triton ETD
Photonis USA Pennsylvania acquired Triton ETD, thereby expanding its Electron Tube business into Traveling Wave Tubes (TWT), TWT amplifiers and Microwave Power Modules. 

Photonis history


Burle joins Photonis Group
In July 2005, the Photonis Group acquired Burle through a stock purchase making the Photonis Group the 2nd worldwide leading manufacturer in the field of photo-detection. The Photonis Group then established Photonis USA Pennsylvania, which also housed the Galileo Corporation which was re-named as Photonis USA (Sturbridge). For a few years after the acquisition, Photonis USA Pennsylvania still operated under the BURLE name. 



Acquisition Burle division Galileo
Burle, building on its expertise in photo optics, acquired the Scientific Detector and Spectroscopy Products business of Galileo Corporation located in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.

Photonis Defense History - 1999


Electronic Security Equipment and Systems business sold
On April 28, 1995, Burle sold the Electronic Security Equipment and Systems business in an effort to concentrate on the expansion of the photomultiplier, imaging, and power tube product lines.

Photonis Defense History, 1987


Burle Industries Foundation
On July 14, 1987, the NPD management team led by Dr. Erich Burlefinger, purchased the New Products Division and founded Burle Industries. In the business segment of Electronic Security Equipment and Systems, Burle directed resources and talents to be the leading systems supplier in the world.  In the business segment of Electron Tubes, Burle continued to emphasize quality of product and excellent service to customers.

Photonis Defense History, 1983


New Products Division (NPD) Foundation
In 1983, the New Products Division (NPD) of RCA Corporation was founded.  The mission of NPD was to establish new businesses and provide inventive, advanced products for the corporation’s future.  The 1986 acquisition of RCA by General Electric Company forced a change in strategy and resulted in the divestiture of RCA’s Lancaster facility.

Photonis Defense History, 1942


Plant construction in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
The history of Photonis Defense, Inc., dates back to 1942, when plant construction began in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  During World War II, RCA operated the Navy-built manufacturing facilities producing radio and microwave tubes.  After the war, RCA Corporation acquired the facilities and moved other business activities to the Lancaster plant.  Subsequently, Lancaster became the home for the production of black and white television picture tubes, color TV tubes, camera tubes, Closed Circuit Video Equipment (CCVE) and motion-sensing light control switches.

Resource center

Are you looking for a specification sheet or paper? Documents like these and more are available in the Photonis Resource Center. 

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