Mounted Reference Flat for ELI-NP Project

Optical Surfaces Ltd. has produced a 600mm diameter mounted reference flat mirror that will enable Thales (www.thalesgroup.com) to perform the alignment of the laser beam expanders implemented in the High Peak Power Laser System for the prestigious ELI-NP project* in Romania.

Mounted Reference Flat

Working in a uniquely stable manufacturing environment, Optical Surfaces skilled staff was able to produce the silver coated, 2-axis gimbal mounted reference flat with a surface accuracy of better than 20nm rms and surface quality of 40/20 scratch/dig.

The optimised beam expanders will be used to produce a precisely expanded laser beam which will enable smaller laser spot sizes to be achieved when used in combination with additional focusing optics. This is very useful in laser focusing optimisation.

The Extreme Light Infrastructure for Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) project* aims to develop an unique and high technology research center in Magurele (Romania) including the most powerful laser system ever achieved: a 2x10PW laser system. . The €60 million contract awarded to Thales to develop the laser system is the largest contract by a national research institute under a European-funded programme.

For further information on ultra-high precision reference flats please visit www.optisurf.com/index.php/products/flats-and-windows/flats/ or contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optisurf.com.

Achromatic Off-Axis Paraboloids Suitable for Broadband Applications

Optical Surfaces Ltd. reports that its Off-Axis Paraboloids are particularly suitable for broadband and multiple-wavelength applications thanks to their completely achromatic performance characteristics.

Achromatic Off-Axis Paraboloids

Off-axis paraboloids from Optical Surfaces are routinely selected by leading establishments around the world for undertaking applications including high power laser focusing, focusing upon astronomical objects, collimating reference wave fronts, beam expansion, MTF measurement, MRTD testing and bore sight alignment for missile guidance systems.

Drawing upon its uniquely stable production environment, and the skills of its highly experienced engineers and craftsmen, Optical Surfaces can produce off-axis paraboloids up to 600 mm in diameter. 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, surface accuracies of lambda/20 p-v and surface micro-roughness of 1 nm rms. A wide range of high performance coatings is available for standard and custom off-axis paraboloids including metallic with or without protective overcoat, multilayer dielectrics and ultra-hard coatings.

Off-axis paraboloids are one of the most common type of aspheric used in optical instruments. They are free from spherical aberrations, and thus focus a parallel beam to a point or a point source to infinity. Off-axis paraboloids provide an unobstructed aperture allowing complete access to the focal region as well as reducing the size and minimising the weight of a design. They are especially suitable for broadband or multiple wavelength applications due to their completely achromatic performance. All together these advantages produce a cost-effective solution for many optical design problems with no compromise in performance.

Production approved to ISO 9001-2008 the quality of off-axis paraboloids from Optical Surfaces is ensured using a range of interferometric and surface test measurements on all optics and optical systems leaving the factory.

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

High Precision Mirrors for Schlieren Imaging

Optical Surfaces Ltd. is a leading producer of high precision mirrors for Schlieren imaging applications involving airflow turbulence, explosive shockwaves, gas leaks and visualisation of transparent thermal phenomena.

High Precision Mirrors

Concave spherical mirror (courtesy: Optical Surfaces)

Drawing upon its uniquely stable manufacturing environment – Optical Surfaces is able to routinely produce the highest quality concave spherical mirrors (up to 800mm in diameter) for Schlieren imaging systems in a range of materials including Pyrex, Zerodur and ULE.

Optical Surfaces’ optical craftsmen routinely produce spherical mirrors with surface accuracy of better than lambda/10 with particular emphasis on smoothness of the profile. Final characterisation of surface smoothness using highly accurate interferometric measurements. Ultra high precision surface finish and durable optical coatings combine to provide superior Schlieren image quality.

Schlieren imaging is a widely-accepted method for visualising density variations in transparent media. In one of the most common types of Schlieren imaging system a source directs light onto a spherical mirror, which collimates the light and redirects it onto a second identical mirror. The resultant image may be captured by an imaging camera or on a screen.

For further information on ultra-high precision concave spherical mirrors for Schlieren imaging please visit www.optisurf.com/index.php/products/spherical-mirrors/ or contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optisurf.com.

Variable Focus Motorised Beam Expanders

Optical Surfaces Ltd. is a leading supplier of variable focus motorised beam expanders for LIDAR systems used in meteorological applications.Motorised Beam Expanders

An off-axis reflective beam expander greatly reduces the blind zone of LIDAR systems and therefore often offers 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.

Variable focus motorised beam expanders from Optical Surfaces incorporate off-axis mirrors which provide an unobstructed output and highly efficient transmission. The reflective design of these beam expanders is achromatic and with aluminium coatings they can operate from UV to far IR without adjustment. Not only do Optical Surfaces beam expanders offer unmatched performance but they are also portable and can be used without the need for internal re-alignment – an important consideration in a LIDAR system.

Over the last 25 years – variable focus motorised beam expanders from Optical Surfaces Ltd have been designed for LIDAR systems used to provide reliable weather radars, measure local wind field phenomena and to map the dispersion of atmospheric pollution in built up city areas.

optspr178-imageBFor further information on variable focus motorised beam expanders please visit www.optisurf.com/index.php/products/laser-beam-expanders/ or contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optisurf.com.

Optical Surfaces Ltd. has been producing precision mounted optics and optical systems for more than 50 years and is now accepted as one of the world’s leading suppliers for meteorological research. 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 performance beam expanders please visit www.optisurf.com or contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optisurf.com.

High Precision Astronomical Optics

Optical Surfaces Ltd is a leading designer and supplier of high precision astronomical optics operating over the entire spectral range from infrared to x-ray wavelengths.

Astronomical optics is a branch of optics and photonics that uses light-controlling components for imaging celestial objects using for instance a telescope. Astronomical optics combines precisely machined lenses and mirrors to reduce any image distortion, and highly sensitive sensors to detect low levels of light.

Astronomical OpticsBenefiting from operating in a unique production environment, free from vibration and temperature variation, Optical Surfaces Ltd is able to regularly produce large, ultra smooth astronomical optics that deliver state-of-the-art performance.

Over the last 50+ year, Optical Surfaces has designed, manufactured and supplied leading research organisations around the world with high precision aspheric optics, ultra smooth mirrors, high performance prisms, Schmidt camera and Laser launch telescope optics which stretches the limits of conventional optical fabrication techniques.

To certify surface accuracy and precision, Optical Surfaces Ltd uses large aperture Zygo GPI, Twyman Green, Scatterplate, Fizeau and Laser Unequal Path (LUPI) interferometers which enables one-to-one testing of even the largest diameter astronomical optics. Topographic and fringe analysis provides precise testing of surface roughness and confirms the wavefront of various surface forms. A rolling program for calibration of test optics where possible to national standards and production approval to ISO 9001-2000 ensures that the quality of astronomical optics from Optical Surfaces Ltd. is second to none.

For details of international projects that Optical Surfaces Ltd has supplied astronomical optics to please visit click here. For further information on high precision astronomical optics please contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optisurf.com.

High Throughput Aspheric Lenses

Optical Surfaces Ltd. is a leading manufacturer of high quality aspheric lenses for a wide array of demanding optical applications that involve beam focusing, collimation, expansion or wavefront correction.

high throughput aspheric lenses

Large Diameter Aspheric Lens

Aspheric lenses provide a cost effective way of reducing the number of optical elements in a system. A correctly formed aspheric lens surface may cancel or control spherical aberration. As a result more energy can be concentrated into a smaller area. Aspheric lenses are best suited for low f-number, high throughput applications.

Drawing on its team of skilled technicians and engineers, Optical Surfaces offers fabrication of high performance aspheric lenses up to 600mm diameter in a range of high-quality optical glasses with low f-number to optimise light gathering and focusing performance. To meet the demands of high-power laser focusing, LIDAR and laser launch telescopes Optical Surfaces is routinely able to manufacture aspheric lenses with surface finish of 10/5 scratch/dig, surface roughness of 1nm rms and ultra-smooth slope errors.

A range of high-power laser coatings is available to maintain high transmission and enable the aspheric lenses to operate at the ultra-high energy thresholds demanded by the Terawatt lasers used to investigate fundamental plasma physics.

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

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

High Precision Custom Beamsplitters

Beamsplitters - Prism
Optical Surfaces Ltd. is a manufacturer and supplier of high precision, custom beamsplitters and beamsplitting assemblies to leading spectroscopy, interferometry and imaging companies worldwide looking to enhance the performance of their instruments.

In optical systems, beamsplitters play a key role in dividing, recombining, and managing the directions of multiple beam paths. Using beamsplitters – light may be divided into separate wavelengths and / or polarization states. In addition beamsplitters can split light to provide specific values of transmittance and reflectance.

Drawing upon a uniquely stable production environment and a highly skilled workforce -Optical Surfaces is able to manufacture custom beamsplitters that offer higher flatness and parallel specifications than is routinely available. Typically OSL beamsplitters are manufactured to a surface accuracy of lambda/20 p-v at 633nm, a surface quality of 10/5 and microroughness of less than 1.2nm rms. Supplied mounted or unmounted, custom beamsplitters from Optical Surfaces can be supplied with an extensive range of coatings designed to operate at your required angle of incidence.

Optical Surfaces has experience and expertise in producing a wide variety of custom beamsplitters. This includes plate, wedge, cube, periscope, penta prism and custom shaped beamsplitters. In addition, Optical Surfaces has also produced dichroic, multi-wavelength, polarising and laser insertion beamsplitter prisms.

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

Beam Expanders Help Deliver World’s Most Powerful Laser System

Optical Surfaces Ltd. has supplied to Thales (www.thalesgroup.com) the first of 10 high performance beam expanders for the Extreme Light Infrastructure for Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) project to develop the world’s most powerful laser system.

Offering an unprecedented level of power in ultrashort pulses, the two new 10 petawatt (1,000,000,000,000,000) high intensity lasers will be delivered to the Horia Hulubei National Institute of Physics & Nuclear Engineering (IFIN-HH) in Magurele, Romania. The €60 million contract awarded to Thales to develop the laser systems is the largest contract by a national research institute under a European-funded programme.

high performance beam expanders

Due to be operational by 2018 the new lasers will pave the way for the development of a new generation of powerful particle accelerators, which will be smaller and less costly, for fundamental research in material physics and medical applications including proton beam therapy for treating cancer.

Because of its international reputation for supplying outstanding high power laser optics, Thales selected Optical Surfaces Ltd. to manufacture and supply 4 x 580 mm aperture and 6 x 200mm aperture laser beam expanders for the ELI-NP project.

Dr Aris Kouris, Sales Manager for Optical Surfaces Ltd. commented “To be chosen as a supply partner for such a prestigious project is a great honour. Drawing upon many decades experience in laser beam expander design and manufacture we were able to deliver systems that provided the required high performance whilst maintaining cost competitiveness. In addition to improving beam collimation, beam expanders can be used to focus laser beams. By producing an expanded beam our systems are able to produce smaller laser spot sizes when used in combination with additional focusing optics. This is very useful in laser focusing optimisation”.

Optical Surfaces Ltd. has been producing optical components and beam expanders for more than 50 years and is now accepted as one of the world’s leading suppliers for high power laser research. 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 performance beam expanders please contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optisurf.com.

Precision Etalon Plates for Fabry Perot Interferometers

Precision Etalon PlatesOptical Surfaces Ltd is a leading supplier of ultra high precision Etalon plates for use in Fabry-Perot interferometers.

Etalons are available in two basic forms, air-spaced or solid. Designed for use at customer-defined wavelengths within the range 190nm to about 2 microns, Optical Surfaces etalons are supplied with wedge angles of 5 minutes of arc for smaller diameters, rising in steps to a wedge angle of 40 minutes of arc for diameters greater than 70mm. They are available as standard in materials including UV grade Silica and Germanium.

Dr Aris Kouris of Optical Surfaces commented “Drawing upon our unique stabilised manufacturing environment and team of skilled optical craftsmen we regularly supply etalons in a range of shapes and sizes with matching accuracies to lambda / 300”. He added “Optical Surfaces has built up a worldwide reputation for producing these super-flat components, supplying many customers in scientific institutes, observatories and industry. For example the set of 165mm diameter Fabry-Perot Etalons that we supplied to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), are a key component lying at the heart of the Millstone Hill Atmospheric science facility operated in cooperation with the University of Pittsburgh (USA). The purpose of this instrument is to measure Doppler shifts in the atmosphere”.

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

High Performance Lenses for Wide Field Imager

Optical Surfaces Ltd. has supplied to the National Observatory of Athens (www.astro.noa.gr) a series of high precision lenses designed for a new state-of-the-art wide field imager that will extend the capabilities of its 2.3m Aristarchos Telescope.

High performance lenses for AWFC laboratoryThe Aristarchos Wide-Field Camera (AWFC) is a new state-of-the-art wide field imager** which will be used on the 2.3m Aristarchos telescope at the Helmos Observatory in Greece. It has a 26 x 26 arcmin field of view on the sky with a resolution of better than 1 arcsecond per pixel. The AWFC will be used for SDSS imaging and calculation of precise photometric redshifts of objects (e.g. Supermassive Black holes in Active Galactix Nuclei) in sky fields covered by the ESA/XMM satellite and high resolution narrow-band imaging of large filamentary structures, including Supernova Remnants and Planetary Nebulae which are the end points in the life of stars. For the latter, the AWFC will provide unique information about their structure and morphology which will help significantly to study their kinematics and dynamics together with subsequent spectroscopic observations. The wide field imager has been manufactured and is in its testing phase in the optical lab. Commissioning of the AWFC on the 2.3m Aristarchos telescope and first light is expected in 2017.

Because of its international reputation for supplying high precision telescope optics, the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) selected Optical Surfaces Ltd. to manufacture and supply an 160 mm diameter Field Lens and a Collimator lens assembly, comprising a cemented doublet, a meniscus lens and a biconvex lens. All these high precision AR coated lenses were designed to perform well over a wide range of wavelengths, in order to maintain the high performance and achromatic nature of the reflective optics of the Aristarchos telescope but over a much wider field of view.

Dr Panayotis Boumis, a senior researcher within the NOA, said “Selecting a supplier to help design and manufacture these lens assemblies was a very important decision because of the critical role that they will play in extended the capabilities of our 2.3m Aristarchos telescope. Throughout the project – Optical Surfaces provided us with a wealth of valued technical input demonstrating their extensive experience and knowledge in the area of designing high precision optics and lens assemblies for telescopes”.

Dr Aris Kouris, sales manager at Optical Surfaces Ltd. commented “We are pleased to have been selected by the NOA to have provide advice on the final design of the lenses to extend the performance of their 2.3m Aristarchos telescope. Drawing upon over 50 years’ experience in telescope optics design and manufacturing we were able to come up with easily manufactured lens designs that delivered the required high performance whilst maintaining cost competitiveness. This is the second time that we have worked with the NOA and are happy that we have been of help once again for such an important project and customer”.

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 for ground and space based telescope 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.

Telescope image

The Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing (IAASARS) is one of the three institutes of the NOA. The main activities of the Institute involve basic and applied research in a number of topics in astrophysics, from distant galaxies to the solar neighbourhood, as well as ground based and space-borne remote sensing, earth observation and signal processing. The institute is also committed to outreach and science dissemination for the general public and operates a very popular visitor centre in Penteli. For further information relating to the work carried out by the NOA and the 2.3m Aristarchos telescope please visit http://helmos.astro.noa.gr/.

For further information on high precision optics and assemblies for telescopes please contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optisurf.com.

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