Active Isolation Renders Reflective Collimators Truly Portable

prortable-reflective-collimatorsOptical Surfaces Ltd. has introduced a new option for its range of fully enclosed, pre-aligned reflective collimators.

For organisations looking for the flexibility of being able to use a reflective collimator on different experiments around their laboratory – Optical Surfaces has developed self-aligning isolating feet. The isolating feet allow a ±10mm height adjustment and enable easy relocation of the reflective collimator without any loss of performance. The isolating feet clamp onto standard optical tables and operate in two modes. When the unit is static the isolating feet are set in “no floating mode”. However to ensure smooth and safe transfer from one place to another the isolating feet may be set in “floating mode”.

High stability and performance on Optical Surfaces reflective collimators is achieved using a zero expansion off-axis parabola, manufactured to better than lambda/10 p-v surface accuracy. The optics within each unit are secured by the use of stress-free mounts and come pre-aligned in our laboratories for optimum performance. The off-axis design of Optical Surfaces reflective collimators produces no central obscuration thereby ensuring highly efficient transmission is obtained.

The all-reflecting design of Optical Surfaces reflective collimators is achromatic and with aluminium / magnesium fluoride coatings can operate from the UV to the infrared without adjustment. Using zero expansion glass mirror substrates Optical Surfaces reflective collimators provide exceptional operational stability. Each unit has an output port datum plane giving a defined distance to the focus. All reflective collimators provide a 20mm field ensuring full compatibility with standard black bodies.

Standard models include exit apertures of 100mm, 120mm, 150mm, 200mm, 240mm and 300mm. Customised systems can be supplied with larger field sizes, different output interfaces and platforms. Other options include reticle holders, lamp houses and black bodies. Test interferogram and analysis, showing wavefront accuracy, focal length and working distance, are supplied with every reflective collimator supplied.

For further information please visit www.optisurf.com/index.php/products/reflective-collimators/ or contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optisurf.com

Ensuring the Flatness of Mirrors

Optical Surfaces is a leading supplier of large, high precision reference flats and mirrors (coated flats) to research establishments, high power laser facilities and organisations worldwide.

mounts-montageFor high power laser applications – mirrors are typically produced by treating a flat substrate with several layers of ultra hard dielectric coating. Unfortunately these hard dielectric coatings cause a surface which is perfectly flat before coating to pull after coating and to induce that surface to become more convex. Whilst each type of coating behaves uniquely depending on coating design, type of material, aspect ratio of the blank and internal stresses, Optical Surfaces has developed expertise to mitigate the uncertainties associated with the coating to ensure flatness, and hence the performance of the mirror.

Benefiting from a unique thermally stable manufacturing environment, and working with high-stability materials such as fused Quartz and Zerodur, Optical Surfaces is able to routinely achieve a surface accuracy of better than lambda/10 p.v. and surface roughness of less than 1nm on flats and mirrors (coated flats) up to 600mm in diameter. In addition to circular flats and mirrors (coated flats), Optical Surfaces is experienced in producing flats and mirrors in other shapes, light-weighted mirrors and supplying high precision mounts.

All flats and mirrors (coated flats) from Optical Surfaces Ltd. come with full quality testing assurance. For further information please visit www.optisurf.com/index.php/products/flats-and-windows/flats or contact Optical Surfaces on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optisurf.com

Low Scatter Off-Axis Parabolic Mirrors

off-axis-paraboloid-2Designed to focus or collimate broadband light, off-axis parabolic mirrors from Optical Surfaces Ltd. are manufactured to the most demanding tolerances.

Unlike standard parabolic mirrors, off-axis parabolic (OAP) mirrors direct and focus incident collimated light at a specific angle, allowing unrestricted access to the focal point. Commonly these mirrors are used as collimators in Schlieren, MTF and FLIR systems, high power laser focusing, focusing upon astronomical objects, beam expansion and bore sight alignment for missile guidance systems.

Working with the highest quality optical glasses – Optical Surfaces Ltd. routinely produces OAP from 60mm to 600 mm in diameter. Benefiting from a uniquely stable manufacturing environment, and a highly skilled team of engineers and craftsmen, Optical Surfaces is able to manufacture OAPs with surface accuracy to lambda/20 (peak-to-valley) depending upon off-axis angles. Using proprietary polishing techniques Optical Surfaces can, depending on the surface accuracy required, achieve the natural limit to the off-axis angle of around 25-30 degrees and surface micro-roughness of less than 1 nm. A range of coatings is available from metallic with or without protective overcoat to multilayer dielectrics and ultra hard coatings to suit all applications.

off-axis-paraboloid-1Drawing upon over 50 years in this field, Optical Surfaces Ltd has established itself as one of the world’s leading suppliers of OAP’s for ground breaking applications by leading research institutes and organisations worldwide.

Optical Surfaces ISO 9001-2008 approved manufacturing facility provides the flexible resources to supply from single specialist requirements to OEM quantities. Benefiting from its uniquely stable manufacturing environment and highly experienced workforce – Optical Surfaces is able to routinely achieve the most demanding optical tolerances. All precision optics and optical systems are provided with a complete quality test assurance report.

For further information please visit www.optisurf.com or contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optsurf.com.

Ultra-high Precision Optics & Optical Systems

Laser World of Photonics - Optical SurfacesOptical Surfaces Ltd. has announced that it will be exhibiting examples of its ultra-high precision optics and optical systems at the forthcoming LASER World of PHOTONICS 2015 exhibition in Munich, Germany.

Visitors to Halle B3 Stand 103, the stand of German agent – Laser 2000 GmbH, will be able to meet and discuss with technical staff requirements for large diameter optics, beam expanders, collimators, parabolic mirrors and mirror mounts as well as prototypes and custom systems.

Over the last 50 years – Optical Surfaces Ltd has established itself as a leading international manufacturer of top quality, high precision optical components and systems. The company is a regular supplier to major projects worldwide and has particular knowledge and experience of supplying ultra-high precision optics for applications in fundamental physics, astronomy, space research, defence and environmental monitoring.

Optical Surfaces ISO 9001-2008 approved manufacturing facility provides the flexible resources to supply from single specialist requirements to OEM quantities. Benefiting from its uniquely stable manufacturing environment and highly experienced workforce – Optical Surfaces is able to routinely achieve the most demanding optical tolerances. All precision optics and optical systems are provided with a complete quality test assurance report.

For further information please visit www.optisurf.com or contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optsurf.com.

Light Weight Mirrors for Satellite & Astronomical Telescopes

light-weighted-mirror

Drawing upon special production techniques and the knowledge of its expert craftsman – Optical Surfaces Ltd. is able to produce light weight mirrors that combine top optical performance, high structural strength and significant component weight reduction.

To discover new celestial objects and to study known objects more accurately, ultra-high precision telescope mirrors that do not increase payload weights are increasingly required for telescope-based experiments conducted outside the Earth’s atmosphere. Light weight mirrors also allow the creation of larger terrestrial telescopic instruments than would be feasible with solid mirrors. Solid mirrors are not only mechanically cumbersome, but are also difficult to cast and safely cool into a single, large blocks of glass. Optical Surfaces light weighting techniques can reduce the weight of the mirror by as much as 60 per cent.

Optical Surfaces light weight mirrors provide sufficient rigidity for ultra-high precision optical performance while reducing the weight of the mirror. The reduced weight, in turn, allows smaller, lighter support and control structures, reducing the overall cost of the telescope.

Benefiting from a uniquely stable manufacturing environment – Optical Surfaces is routinely able to produces highly aspheric, fast focusing (to f 0.5) parabolic mirrors. With its team of skilled technicians and engineers, Optical Surfaces Ltd is also able to fabricate high performance aspheric lenses with tight tolerances. Excellent performance is assured through production of aspheric lenses with excellent surface quality – low surface scatter (20-10 scratch-dig) and high surface accuracy (lambda/20).

Optical Surfaces ISO 9001-2008 approved manufacturing facility provides the flexible resources to supply from single specialist requirements to OEM quantities. Benefiting from its stable environment, quality testing becomes quantifiable and reliable. All light weight mirrors are provided with a complete quality test assurance report.

Mirror Mounts for High Precision Optics

Ultra-high precision optics are useless unless they are positioned with absolute precision and stress-free. To fulfil this need, Optical Surfaces Ltd designs and manufactures mounts specifically for use with parabolic, spherical and flat mirrors to optimize the optical performance of optical systems.

Mounts and Mounted OpticsOptical Surfaces OS-Z Series mirror mounts were developed to support off-axis paraboloid, spherical and flat mirrors in a manner that allows overcoming a number of constrains imposed by general purpose mounts. Two key advantages gained by using an OS-Z mount together with an off-axis parabolic mirror are rapid alignment using an optional pre-alignment aid and the ability to routinely accommodate wedge back and parallel back mirrors. In addition, in applications where long term stability and stress-free mounting are important, the special factory fitted features allow this to be easily achieved.

Constructed in black anodized aluminium – Optical Surfaces OS Series Gimbal Mirror Mounts provide a secure and stable platform for mirror diameters from 100mm to 254mm. Angular alignment can be made about two axes by means of dual action adjusters with fine screw and ultra-fine differential micrometer action. Using these mounts it is possible to rapidly and accurately align a mirror. To facilitate rapid and simple mounting onto an optical table or other support each mirror mount comes with a base plate.

For larger mirrors in applications where stability of pointing is important, the robust OS 260-600 mounts are available in four standard sizes giving optical apertures from 260 mm to 550 mm. To ensure operational versatility and flexibility all mirror mounts provide precise micrometer screw tilt adjustment about both vertical and horizontal axes. Various motorised mount options are also available to suit applications in hostile environments or where limited space makes manual adjustment difficult.

Over the last 50 years – Optical Surfaces Ltd has established itself as a leading international manufacturer of top quality, high precision optical components and systems for organisations involved with fundamental physics, astronomy, space, defence and the environment.

For further information please visit www.optisurf.com or contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optisurf.com.

Optical Surfaces & Laser 2000 Sign Precision Optics Agreement

Optical Surfaces Ltd. (Kenley, UK) has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Laser 2000 GmbH (Wessling, Germany) to help expand sales and local support for its high precision optical components, mounted optical components and systems.

The scope of the agreement covers both standard and customer specified optics in German speaking (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and Scandinavian markets (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark).

optspr154-imageDr Aris Kouris, Sales Manager of Optical Surfaces Ltd. commented “In the last few years we have achieved significant international growth in end user as well as OEM optical component and system sales. As a result we are actively expanding our highly skilled workforce here at our Kenley, UK headquarters as well as seeking knowledgeable partners in key territories around the world to provide better support to local customers and of course to grow sales”.

He added “Having worked informally with Laser 2000 over a number of years in Germany we have been impressed by their knowledge of optics, optical applications and commitment to supporting customers. As a result we are looking forward to working closely with the Laser 2000 team across a wider geographic region”.

Bernhard Dauner, Sales Manager of Laser 2000 GmbH commented “Laser 2000 is very proud to announce this official partnership with Optical Surfaces Ltd. For many years we have experienced excellent support from Optical Surfaces enabling us to satisfy our customer requests with high quality optical components and systems. Working together more closely, and in a wider region of Europe, perfectly reflects our European growth strategy”.

For further information please contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optisurf.com.

Founded in 1986, Laser 2000 (http://www.laser2000.de/) is an international leader in the distribution of photonics products that enable customers to generate light, modify it, move it, and measure it. The company leads the way in innovation by supplying state-of-the-art solutions, utilising the latest photonics and optoelectronic technologies. Working in partnership with customers, Laser 2000 seek to provide customised solutions for even the most demanding applications and pride ourselves on our unfailing expertise, product quality and reliability. All Laser 2000 supplied products meet rigorous standards of quality and specification, at competitive prices. Laser 2000 maintains local offices in many territories in Europe, such as Germany, Austria and Scandinavia.

Guide to Cleaning Coated Optics

Optical Surfaces Ltd. has published a new guide to provide scientists and engineers with expert advice on maintaining the performance of their aluminum coated optics.

After a time, depending on the environment in which coated optics are used, they may become contaminated with dust or stained. Dust and stains can cause scattering, and impurities on the surface of the optics can react with incident light resulting in damage to the optical coating.

cleaning-coated-opticsStarting from the premise “If it’s not dirty don’t clean it” the new guide describes a simple to follow 5-step progressive process for cleaning coated optics in a clean, low dust environment.

For a copy of the new guide please visit http://www.optisurf.com/index.php/news/technical-tips/ or contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optisurf.com.

Optical Surfaces Ltd has been producing optical components, mounted optical components and systems for more than 50 years and is now accepted as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-precision optics and optical systems. The company’s ISO 9001-2008 approved manufacturing workshops and test facilities are deep underground in a series of tunnels excavated in solid chalk where temperature remains constant and vibration is practically non-existent. With such stable conditions testing, particularly with long path lengths, becomes quantifiable and reliable. Working with these natural advantages is a highly skilled team of craftsmen with a commitment to excellence in both product quality and customer service.

Off-Axis Beam Expander Enhances Performance of Doppler Wind Lidar

Optical Surfaces Ltd. has been selected by Beijing Metstar Radar Co., Ltd. (Beijing, China) to supply a high precision beam expander that will form a key component in their next generation fiber-based pulse Doppler Wind Lidar system.

doppler-wind-lidarBeijing Metstar Radar Co., Ltd. (Metstar) is a high-technology company formed in 1996 as a joint venture between the Lockheed Martin Corporation of the United States and China National Huayun Technology Development Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of the China Meteorological Administration. Metstar`s charter is to combine the latest technological advancements in both meteorology and electronics to provide high-class and reliable weather radars and services to the domestic and oversea customers and to branch out into related fields.

Dr. Zhifeng Lin, a senior research scientist at Metstar commented: “In meteorological Lidar systems, beam expanders are often used to magnify the laser beam to reduce its divergence in the far field. An off-axis reflective beam expander greatly reduces the blind zone of Lidar detection and therefore was considered as the best solution to this problem. In Lidar systems, such as Doppler Wind Lidar, the wavefront performance of the beam expander is very important for the Lidar efficiency. For instance only 1 dB loss in total efficiency is experienced when the RMS wavefront deviation of the beam is between lambda/10 and lambda/20, whereas an optical wavefront performance between lambda/5 and lambda/10 will result into a 3 dB loss. So, a well-designed beam expander system with wavefront performance better than lambda/20 RMS was specified as a critical component for our next generation Doppler Wind Lidar”.

Dr Lin added “These are the reasons why we choose a BEX series beam expander from Optical Surfaces Ltd for our fiber-based pulse Doppler Wind Lidar. These off-axis Laser Beam Expanders not only have no central obscuration and efficient transmission, but also have precision top quality surface accuracy of typically better than lambda/60 RMS (> lambda /10 PV). With this beam expander, alignment aids with sub-arcseconds repeatability are provided to ensure correct beam pointing. I am sure the BEX series beam expander from Optical Surfaces Ltd. will help enhance our Doppler Wind Lidar performance significantly”.

100mm aperture beam expanderDr Aris Kouris, Sales manager for Optical Surfaces Ltd. commented: “We are pleased to have received the order from Metstar which I believe will open a number of opportunities for further future collaborations. This is a challenging 100mm aperture Beam Expander based upon a Dall-Kirkham off-axis mirror design which, requires maintaining a high optical performance over a wide range of temperatures (-40° C to +50° C). In order to achieve this we are employing an INVAR rod solution together with a very high precision free-translating mechanism that exhibit, practically, negligible friction. In addition, in our efforts to better control the thermal behaviour, the off-axis mirrors have a short focal length resulting in a very robust assembly (the overall length expected to be around 0.5m) which is less sensitive to temperature changes, but makes the manufacturing of the highly aspheric primary and alignment a challenge as a result. Finally, the instrument has a relatively high magnification (M=20) that introduces further challenges during manufacturing, testing and assembly of the unit.”

For further information please contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optisurf.com. For further information on meteorological systems from Metstar please visit www.metstar.net.

Motorised Beam Reducers for Vulcan High Power Laser

Optical Surfaces Ltd. has received an order from the STFC Central Laser Facility** to supply 6 Motorised Beam Reducers for one of their high power laser target areas (Target Area West) on the Vulcan laser facility.

motorised-beam-reducers

The STFC Central Laser Facility (CLF) is one of the world’s leading laser facilities providing scientists from the UK and Europe with state-of-the-art laser technology. Vulcan is a versatile high power Nd: Glass laser system capable of delivering up to 2.6kJ of laser energy in long pulse mode (nanosecond pulses) and up to 1 PW (1015 W) peak power in a short pulse (500 fs duration). The CLF’s wide ranging applications include experiments in physics, chemistry and biology, accelerating subatomic particles to high energies, probing chemical reactions on the shortest timescales and studying biochemical and biophysical process critical to life itself.

An STFC spokesman commented “Target Area West uses 108mm diameter beam lines for the long-pulse delivery to target. There are 6 of these beam lines which operate at 1053nm with frequency doubling options to convert to 527nm. The diagnosis of these beams requires the beam diameter to be reduced by a factor of 10 following a leakage through a final turning mirror. The motorised beam reducers, to be supplied by Optical Surfaces Ltd for each of the beam lines, will allow operation in 2 modes. One to be used for continuous wave (cw) alignment and a second mode for “on shot” diagnostics with maximum of 1% transmission at 1053 and 527nm and beam energies of up to 50J at the input of the beam reducers. The mode switching makes their precise, high accuracy design and construction critical. The on-shot mode requires a carefully designed “dump” to prevent the high energy beam propagating and interacting with the transmitted output which would result in high background noise and stray reflections.

Dr Aris Kouris, sales manager for Optical Surfaces Ltd. commented “The project has posed significant design challenges for us both optically and mechanically. The main challenges were related to dimensional constraints, maintenance of pointing accuracy and repeatability when switching between the 2 modes, and designing the system to be able to deal with the high power densities involved during the on shot diagnostics mode. The Beam Reducer will be based upon a Dall-Kircham off-axis mirror design with a number of folding mirrors between the primary and secondary. A final periscope pair at the output allows the input and output to be co-axial and maintain centre height for in-line operation. The switching between the 2 modes is achieved by two “switched” folding mirrors operated by an Optical Surfaces developed mechanism that will allow a high degree of repeatability of the order of just few arc seconds. This will allow maintenance of high optical performance and pointing accuracy during operation. Furthermore, the 2 mirrors are located in a position that will allow the coating to be able to withstand the energy densities present during the on-shot diagnostic operation and before attenuating the beam to suitable levels. Selection of appropriate coatings was also a great challenge and specific coating limitations greatly dictated the final optical design”.

Optical Surfaces Ltd has been producing optical components, mounted optical components and systems for more than 50 years and is now accepted as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-precision optics and optical systems for High Power laser applications. The company’s ISO 9001-2008 approved manufacturing workshops and test facilities are deep underground in a series of tunnels excavated in solid chalk where temperature remains constant and vibration is practically non-existent. With such stable conditions testing, particularly with long path lengths, becomes quantifiable and reliable. Working with these natural advantages is a highly skilled team of craftsmen with a commitment to excellence in both product quality and customer service.

For further information on high precision optics and mirrors for high power lasers please visit www.optisurf.com/index.php/products/off-axis-paraboloids/ or contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optisurf.com.

* Image (copyright: STFC)

** Further information at www.stfc.ac.uk/clf/Facilities/Vulcan/Vulcan%20experimental%20areas/13886.aspx

Return top