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Aspheric Lenses for Demanding Applications

aspheric lenses

Benefiting from a uniquely stable manufacturing environment – Optical Surfaces Ltd. is able to produce diffraction-limited aspheric lenses up to 600mm in diameter for the most demanding applications.

With over 40 years experience, Optical Surfaces are acknowledged as a leader in producing high quality aspheric optical systems and instrumentation for a wide range of research and test applications.

Optical Surfaces produces aspheric lenses 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 able to manufacture aspheric lenses with surface finish of 20/10 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 Optical Surfaces’ aspheric lenses to operate at the ultra-high energy thresholds demanded by the Terawatt lasers used to investigate fundamental plasma physics.

A rolling program for the calibration of test optics to national standards, where possible, and production approval to ISO 9001-2008 ensures that the quality of aspheric lenses from Optical Surfaces is second to none.

Custom Off-Axis Paraboloids

Benefiting from a unique stabilised production environment and over 40 years experience – Optical Surfaces Ltd. has established itself as a world leading supplier of custom off-axis parabolic mirrors (paraboloids).

Optical Surfaces Ltd’s highly experienced and skilled team of engineers and craftsmen can typically produce off-axis parabolic mirrors up to 600 mm in diameter with surface accuracy’s to lambda/20 p-v depending upon off-axis angles. With 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 on aspherics of ~ 1 nm rms. A range of coatings is available for standard and custom components from metallic with or without protective overcoat to multilayer dielectrics and ultra hard coatings.

Off-axis parabolic mirrors from Optical Surfaces Ltd. have been chosen by many leading establishments around the world for undertaking applications including high power laser focusing, focusing upon astronomical objects, collimating reference wavefronts, beam expansion, MTF measurement, MRTD testing and bore sight alignment for missile guidance systems.

Parabolic mirrors are 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 parabolic mirrors 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 9001-2000 the quality of off-axis parabolic mirrors from Optical Surfaces Ltd. is ensured using a range of interferometric and surface test measurements on all optics and optical systems leaving the factory.

Optical Corrector to Enhance Performance of International Liquid Mirror Telescope

optical correctorOptical Surfaces Ltd. has delivered five challenging lenses to AMOS*, the prime contractor supplying the Time Delay Integration (TDI) optical corrector unit for the International Liquid Mirror Telescope (ILMT).

Due to be installed at Devasthal (India) the International Liquid Mirror Telescope (http://www.aeos.ulg.ac.be/LMT/index.php) is made up of three main components: a primary rotating mirror, a focal structure and a CCD camera with optical corrector. The ILMT uses Liquid Mirror technology whereby the primary mirror of the telescope is a rotating container with a highly-reflecting liquid (mercury) in it. The surface of the spinning liquid takes the shape of a paraboloid. As the primary mirror of the ILMT is parabolic, the off-axis imaging is distorted by spherical, coma and time delay integration (TDI) aberrations. In order to correct these off-axis aberrations and to increase as much as possible the field of view of the telescope, an optical corrector must be inserted before the CCD camera.

Stefan Denis, Project Manager at AMOS commented ‘The lenses manufactured by Optical Surfaces are to be assembled into our TDI optical corrector, which – beside the basic field correction – aims at correcting for the trajectory of stars passing by at the zenith of the ILMT’. The supplied high precision lenses were of various sizes – the largest of which was a 485mm diameter steep meniscus. He added ‘Optical Surfaces was selected for its well-known high-level quality in optical manufacturing, including off-axis and special shape optics’.

Dr Aris Kouris, Sales & Marketing Manager of Optical Surfaces Ltd commented ‘We are pleased to have successfully completed and supplied critical optical components for such a prestigious project as the International Liquid Mirror Telescope’.

Reflecting on the challenges of producing the five challenging lenses for the TDI optical corrector he added ‘the absence of any means of adjustment imposed by the system design and the accuracy that the elements had to be placed with respect to each other generated significant challenges in the manufacturing of these elements. Strict tolerances were required in many physical parameters including centre thickness, radii of curvature, relative positions and references. In addition, the lenses had to be machined with a wedge and decentre between the mechanical and the optical axis, while an accurately positioned reference slot would allow the precise positioning of the lenses within the system’. ‘The strict manufacturing tolerances required careful planning and execution from the beginning to the end in order to ensure that all parameters would converge simultaneously to their target values’.

The size and depth of the larger meniscus lens meant that conventional polishing machines were not adequate to polish the two surfaces. Optical Surfaces designed and build a purpose-polishing machine to allow multiple accurate and synchronised motions (including an accurately defined swinging motion on the polishing tool) to generate the spherical surfaces with the correct radii of curvature and shape. After the polishing was complete, the lenses were machined to generate a wedge and decentre between the mechanical and optical axis. For that reason the polished lenses were placed accurately in position for the machining and several mechanical and optical reference surfaces were either attached or generated on the substrates. The latter gave OS the flexibility and the capability to remove and re-place the lenses back at their exact location during machining. The multiple references gave confidence on the positioning process while eliminating single points of failure. Finally, it allowed Optical Surfaces to verify the validity of the method, before and after completion, by using the CMM measuring capability at Rutherford Metrology Facility (UK).

AMOS* is an international leader in the engineering and manufacturing of high accuracy Advanced Mechanical and Optical Systems for space and astronomy projects. Based in Liege (Belgium) – AMOS employs over 75 skilled personnel. For further information please visit www.amos.be.

Optical Surfaces Ltd. has been producing optical components and systems for more than 45 years and is now accepted as one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of high-precision optics for ground and satellite based telescope systems. The company’s ISO 9001-2000 approved manufacturing facility provides the flexible resources to supply from single specialist requirements to OEM quantities. All high precision optics are provided with a complete quality test assurance report.

Optical Surfaces Receive Order for Lidar Optical Modules

Optical Surfaces Ltd. has received a sizeable repeat order to produce optical modules for the ZephIR® 300 wind lidar from Natural Power.

A spokeperson at Optical Surfaces Ltd commented ‘Renewable energy is an important part of the future – we were delighted to receive the repeat order for the ZephIR 300 optical modules from Natural Power. To achieve the ultimate in performance with the fewest components our optical module incorporates a 200mm focal length aspheric doublet. The ability of the ZephIR to produce variable focus at different heights is achieved by using a “point” source originating from a single mode fibre which is located at different longitudinal positions just beyond the front focal plane of the optical module. The aspheric lenses in the optical module have a durable V-coat to allow the lens surfaces to be cleaned and to optimise performance at 1.5 μm’.

The accurate prediction of energy yields is fundamental to the success of wind farm projects. The ZephIR 300 wind lidar (www.naturalpower.com/zephir-300-wind-lidar) provides complete wind resource measurement including horizontal and vertical wind speed, wind direction and turbulence at any height up to 200 metres without the need for a mast thereby eliminating the need for planning permission or working at height. The portability of ZephIR and ease of deployment makes high density data collection a reality with 50 measurements per height per second, both horizontally and vertically across the extent of the measurement site.

Optical Surfaces Ltd. has been producing optical components and systems for more than 45 years and is now accepted as one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of high-precision optics for remote sensing and environmental research. The company’s ISO 9001-2000 approved manufacturing facility provides the flexible resources to supply from single specialist requirements to OEM quantities. All high precision optics are provided with a complete quality test assurance report.

Natural Power collaborates with educational institutes and R&D houses, and invests in new technologies that add value to renewable energy projects. Through a team of in-house specialists including project managers, ecologists, GIS and mapping experts, construction managers, wind farm designers, geotechnical engineers and land agents – Natural Power have developed a portfolio of advanced natural power tools which provide great benefit to clients.

Fast Focusing On-Axis Mirrors

on-axis-mirrorsBenefiting from a stabilised manufacturing environment – Optical Surfaces Ltd has built an international reputation for producing top quality on-axis mirrors, up to 800mm in diameter, for applications in high energy physics and astronomy.

In addition to achieving high energy densities – on-axis parabolic mirrors offer the advantages that they are simpler to align, can achieve faster f-numbers and are relatively affordable compared to off-axis parabolic designs. They are especially suitable for broadband or multiple wavelength applications due to their completely achromatic performance. A range of coatings is available from Optical Surfaces Ltd. including metallic (with or without protective overcoat), multilayer dielectric and ultra hard coatings for high-power lasers.

Using proprietary production techniques – Optical Surfaces highly experienced and skilled production team can depending on the surface accuracy required, generate very fast focusing on-axis parabolic mirrors to f 0.5.

Optical Surfaces Ltd has been producing optical components and systems for more than 45 years and is now accepted as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high precision on- and off-axis parabolic mirrors. Production approved to ISO 9001-2000 the quality and performance of large diameter durable high power laser mirrors from Optical Surfaces Ltd. is second to none.

High Power Laser Mirrors

Durable High Power Laser Mirrors

high power laser mirrorsOptical Surfaces Ltd. has established an international reputation for producing extremely durable coated mirrors up to 600 mm in diameter for use with high-power femtosecond lasers. Typical applications for these durable high power laser mirrors include plasma physics, laser manufacturing and telecommunications.

Using proprietary techniques – Optical Surfaces Ltd. produces laser mirrors of the highest quality and precision. Manufactured from materials including glass, ceramic, and silica – Optical Surfaces off-axis parabolic mirrors are designed to optimise the performance of rapid-pulsed lasers. All surface accuracies are checked by interferometer and are guaranteed to meet λ/10 p-v wave accuracy with low scatter.

Using the latest dielectric coating technology – Optical Surfaces laser mirrors provide minimum pulse distortion and the maximum usable bandwidth. For use with high-power femtosecond lasers operating at 750 to 850 nm, Optical Surfaces mirrors are designed for use at power densities of up to 100 mJ/cm2 for continuous 50-fs pulses without deterioration.

Production approved to ISO 9001-2000 the quality and performance of large diameter durable high power laser mirrors from Optical Surfaces Ltd. is second to none.

Optical Surfaces Ltd (www.optisurf.com) has been producing optical components and systems for more than 45 years and is now accepted as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-precision optics for high power laser research. The company’s ISO 9001-2000 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.

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