Optical Surfaces Delivers Key Components for Spaceborne Optical Systems

Spaceborne Optical SystemsOptical Surfaces Ltd. has delivered a challenging 300mm diameter off-axis paraboloid and a mounted flat mirror to SIMERA Technology Group (Pty) Ltd – an engineering design and development company specialising in the development of UAV and small satellite optical payload systems.

Drawing upon its highly experienced and skilled production team – Optical Surfaces manufactured the off-axis parabolic mirror with surface accuracy of better than lambda/15 P-V, surface quality of 20/10 scratch/dig and surface slope error of lambda/10/cm P-V. This, together with an ultra-smooth coated reference flat (315 mm diameter), have been produced from Zerodur™ as the main reflective and reference components, for a large flight test alignment collimator under construction in SIMERA Technology Group’s optical clean room. This will be the largest and most capable privately-owned facility for testing of airborne and spaceborne optics in South Africa.

Louwrens Marais, Systems Engineer at SIMERA Technology Group commented: “The contract for the off-axis parabolic and flat mirrors was awarded to Optical Surfaces Ltd. based upon its proven expertise and experience in producing demanding optical systems for the space and satellite systems community.” He added: “We have been very pleased with the technical expertise shown and the support provided by Optical Surfaces Ltd, both in direct dealings, and through Talex UK Ltd, our UK collaborator. We therefore placed an additional order on Optical Surfaces Ltd for the manufacture of Flight Model mirrors for a space telescope project we’re currently involved in. These consist of an annular Zerodur™ Primary Mirror, and second-surface Secondary Mirror. Both are chemically etched spherical mirrors, requiring surface accuracies better than lambda/10 P-V.”

Spaceborne Optical SystemsOptical Surfaces Ltd has been producing 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 satellite and space borne 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.

For more information on SIMERA Technology Group please visit www.simera.co.za/ or contact them on +27-21-852-6450.

For further information on demanding, high precision optics for space research and satellite systems please visit www.optisurf.com or contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optisurf.com.

Fast Focusing On-Axis Parabolic Mirrors

Optical Surfaces is a leading producer of fast focusing on-axis parabolic mirrors precisely manufactured to customer specifications and supplied with full surface quality test data.

Supplying on-axis paraboloids to leading research groups around the world, Optical Surfaces heritage in this area dates back over 50 years to the production of large astronomical telescope optics, more than 1 metre (39.4 inches) in diameter for the Royal Greenwich Observatory.

Fast Focusing On-Axis Parabolic Mirrors

In comparison to an off-axis paraboloid, an on-axis parabola offers certain advantages. The effective f-number that can be achieved is lower therefore more energy can be concentrated. Generally, also alignment of on-axis parabolic mirrors is less critical, thus easier.

The highly experienced and skilled production team at Optical Surfaces can routinely produce both circular and irregularly shaped on-axis parabolic mirrors with a surface accuracy of better than lambda/20 p.v and microroughness typically less than 1.2nm rms. Combining this with an extensive array of high reflectivity coatings enables researchers to achieve the high optical performance and efficiency required by even the most demanding experiments.

For further information on fast focusing on-axis parabolic mirrors please visit or contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optisurf.com.

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.

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