Diffraction Limited Prisms Supplied to SONG Project

SONG projectOptical Surfaces Ltd. has announced the delivery, to the Niels Bohr Institute (www.nbi.ku.dk), a pair of ultra high precison counter-rotating doublet prisms for the Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector (ADC) – a key element for the instruments deployed by the SONG project.

The SONG project, is a collaboration between scientists at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Aarhus, and the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen. SONG stands for Stellar Observations Network Group and the purpose of the project is to design an observatory that consists of a network of telescopes distributed around the planet. The design of the SONG telescope will target two scientific purposes: it must measure stellar oscillations that can probe the internal structure of stars, and be able to find Earth-like planets in our Milky Way.

MicroRoughness Map of Prism SurfaceSONG will be a network of 1-metre class telescopes distributed worldwide for measurement of stellar oscillations and planet detection via microlensing events. Currently, the prototype telescope and instrument suite is being designed. Two Lucky Imaging cameras, observing in the VIS and RED bands, are situated at the Nasmyth focal station. Via a Coudé train, a f/37 beam can be fed to a high-resolution spectrograph. In order to deliver diffraction-limited performance, important especially for the observations in the VIS and RED bands with zenith distances of as much as 70 degrees, an Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector (ADC) was required. The ADC consists of a pair of counter-rotating doublet prisms to be placed approximately 75 cm before the focal plane, in the combined VIS/RED band.

Reflecting on their choice of supplier, Per Kjærgaard, SONG project Manager, commented: ‘Optical Surfaces Ltd was selected to produce the critical ADC prism doublet because of their impressive track record in preparing high performance optical systems for telescope and space projects’.

Using proprietary production techniques, Optical Surfaces’ skilled craftsmen produced two identical glass prisms of 45mm diameter with a surface accuracy of lambda/20 p-v and microroughness of better than 1nm rms to provide the diffraction-limited performance required by the SONG project team.

For further information relating to the SONG Project please visit http://astro.phys.au.dk/SONG/

For further information relating to ultra smooth optics for space observation please contact Optical Surfaces Ltd by telephone on +44-208-668-6126 or email sales@optisurf.com

Debris Shields Offer Protection of High Power Laser Optics

Debris Shields from Optical Surfaces Ltd. are specifically designed to protect target-facing optics located in high-power laser facilities. The use of debris shields to protect typically expensive final reflective or refractive focusing high power optics is a well-established technique of extending their lifetime.

debris shieldsManufacturing high quality debris shields combines the dual demands of producing a precision wavefront on a flexible window with a high diameter to thickness ratio. Working with a range of glasses including BK-7 and fused silica, which offer good homogeneity and transmission from the UV to the Near-IR, Optical Surfaces Ltd. is able to supply customer specified debris shields of virtually any shape and thickness.

Benefiting from a stable manufacturing environment and proprietary production techniques Optical Surfaces Ltd.’s skilled and experienced craftsmen are able to economically produce debris shields up to 600mm in diameter with typical wavefront error of lambda/10 and surface finish of 40/20-10/5.

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 optical systems for high power laser research facilities. 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 relating to high power laser optics and debris shields please contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 or email sales@optisurf.com.

Highly Stable Gimbal Mirror Mounts

gimbal mirror mountsOS mounts from Optical Surfaces Ltd. are designed to support mirrors such as off-axis parabola, spheres and flats in applications where stability is important.

Constructed in black anodized aluminium – four models 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 align a mirror within a few arc seconds. 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 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 45 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. Optical Surfaces is a UK based company supplying the world with optical components and instruments including flats, spheres, aspherics, paraboloids, toroids and windows. The company specialise in large optics, beam expanders, collimators, precision mounts and prototypes.

For technical data sheets describing these products in full please contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 or sales@optisurf.com.

Reference flats for measuring surface accuracy or transmitted wavefront

reference-and-transmission-flats

Large transmission flat in protective hardwood box.

Working with high-stability materials such as glass, Zerodur and silica, Optical Surfaces Ltd is today recognised as a premier supplier of high precision reference flats by many leading research establishments and national standards laboratories.

Reference flats are a proven method of measuring the surface accuracy or the transmitted wavefront of flat surfaces or optics. Benefiting from a unique thermally stable manufacturing environment – Optical Surfaces Ltd. is able to routinely achieve a surface accuracy of lambda/20 p.v. and surface roughness of less than 1nm on reference flats up to 600mm in diameter. Optical Surfaces reference flats are used in high precision applications in astronomy, laser beam steering, inspecting gauge blocks for wear and accuracy and interferometric flatness testing of prisms, filters and optical windows.

All reference flats from Optical Surfaces Ltd. come with full quality testing assurance. Optics up to 450 mm diameter are provided with a Fizeau interferometric test report, larger flats and spheres are quality assured using the Ritchey-Common test procedure.

Optical Surfaces Ltd has produced reference flats for more than 45 years and is now accepted as one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of high-precision optics. 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 please contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on telephone +44-208-668-6126 or email sales@optisurf.com

Satellite Demonstrates Stunning High Resolution Imagery

high resolution satellite imagery

2.5m resolution image of Salt Lake City airport captured by NigeriaSat-2, copyright NASRDA.

The first high resolution satellite imagery has been released from NigeriaSat-2 – a 300kg class earth observation satellite manufactured by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) for the Nigerian space agency (NASRDA).

Benefiting from a high performance Camera with optical components manufactured by Optical Surfaces Ltd (Kenley, UK) – the satellite has been able to capture stunning 2.5m resolution images enabling detailed analysis of ground structures, aircraft and vehicles.

NigeriaSat-2 carries two imagers: a 2.5m resolution panchromatic and a 5m resolution multispectral with a swath width of 20 kilometres. Using proprietary production techniques, Optical Surfaces’ skilled craftsmen produced the 385mm light-weighted primary mirror, and other optics in the Cassegrain camera, with a surface accuracy of lambda/20 p-v that has enabled the high resolution images taken by the satellite.

During disasters, NigeriaSat-2 will complement its fellow Disaster Monitoring Constellation satellites by using its high resolution imager to “zoom in” on areas of interest and determine if individual buildings are damaged, bridges destroyed or roads impassable. It is also the first satellite in the African Resource Management (ARM) constellation. Nigeria’s national space agency (NASRDA) also plans to harness the satellite’s new capabilities and fast image downloading to map the entire country in detail every four months. The high resolution and geo-location accuracy of the satellite make it possible to monitor urban development in sprawling cities such as Lagos, and for planning infrastructure such as roads. Geospatial data will also be used to update the land registry with accurate and current information.

MCAD image of NigeriaSat-2 orbiting over Africa and the Middle East, copyright SSTL

Optical Surfaces Ltd has produced 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 satellite deployment and astronomical 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.

Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is the world’s leading small satellite company, delivering operational space missions for a range of applications including Earth observation, science and communications. The company design, manufacture and operate high performance satellites and ground systems for a fraction of the price normally associated with spacecraft, with 400 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments. Since 1981 SSTL has launched 36 satellites as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services, and mission studies for ESA, NASA and commercial customers which are changing the economics of space. Based in Guildford, UK, SSTL is owned by EADS Astrium NV. www.sstl.co.uk

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

Ultra High Precision Etalons

ultra high precision etalonsOperating in a uniquely stable manufacturing environment – Optical Surfaces Ltd has established itself as a leading international supplier of Fabry-Perot etalons in a range of shapes and sizes up to 150mm in diameter with matching accuracies to lambda /300.

Etalon manufacture places extreme demands on a company’s production capabilities. Material purity, optical figure, plate parallelism, plus surface, spacer and coating quality are all critical to the overall performance of an etalon. Etalons are widely used in telecommunications, lasers and spectroscopic applications to measure the wavelength of light. Recent advances in fabrication technique allow the creation of very precisely tuneable Fabry-Pérot interferometers.

Fabry Perot etalons are available from Optical Surfaces Ltd in two basic forms – air-spaced or solid. Designed for use at customer-defined wavelengths within the range 190nm to about 2 microns – OSL etalons are supplied with wedge angles of 5 min of arc for smaller diameters, rising in steps to a wedge angle of 40 min of arc for diameters greater than 70 mm. Available as standard in materials including UV grade Silica and Germanium – Optical Surfaces is a preferred supply partner for etalons to some of the world’s leading research institutes as well to a growing number of laser and interferometer manufacturers.

Optical Surfaces ISO 9001-2000 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 Fabry-Perot etalons produced by Optical Surfaces Ltd are provided with a complete interferometric quality test assurance report.

For further information on ultra high precision etalons please contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. by telephone on +44-208-668-6126 or via email sales@optsurf.com.

Toroidal Mirrors Provide Pinpoint Focusing

toroidal mirrorsBenefiting from considerable expertise in manufacturing high performance parabolic reflectors, Optical Surfaces Ltd. has established itself as a leading supplier of top quality plano-convex and plano-concave toroidal mirrors for spectroscopic and imaging applications.

Toroidal mirrors are focusing devices that have two different radii whose axes are oriented at 90° to each other. Toroids offer advantages where a beam must be focused and folded. Rather than using both a spherical mirror and a plane mirror for this purpose, both functions may be combined in one element. The lower number of optical elements increases energy throughput, saves money and also allows for more compact designs. Toroidal mirrors also correct for the astigmatism that result when a spherical mirror is used off axis.

With workshops and test facilities deep underground where temperatures remain constant and vibration is practically non-existent Optical Surfaces Ltd. routinely produces custom toroidal mirrors in a range of materials (Zerodur, BK7, Fused Silica) with typical surface accuracy of better than lambda/5 (dependent on size and radius) and surface quality of 20:10 scratch dig. Working with a comprehensive inventory of advanced testing techniques – Optical Surfaces Ltd. can produce both Plano-convex and Plano-concave toroidal mirrors in a range of shapes (largest dimension up to 400mm) with high performance and durable optical coatings that provide superior image quality.

Optical Surfaces ISO 9001-2000 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 toroidal mirrors are provided with a complete quality test assurance report.

For further information on high precision toroidal mirrors please contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. by telephone on +44-208-668-6126 or via email sales@optsurf.com.

Spectrograph Optics for Astronomical Telescopes

For over 40 years Optical Surfaces Ltd. has supplied high precision spectrograph optics for land and space based astronomical telescopes.

spectrograph opticsDrawing upon a highly experienced team of optical designers, engineers, and skilled production staff and benefiting from a unique high stability manufacturing environment, Optical Surfaces has been the preferred supplier to many international astronomy research groups. Notable projects completed by Optical Surfaces include the Narval stellar spectropolarimeter installed on the 2m Bernard Lyot Telescope in the French Pyrenees, the High Resolution Optical Spectrograph (HROS) based on the 8m Gemini Telescope in Chile, the Fibre-fed Extended Range Optical Spectrograph (FEROS) at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the ESPaDOnS spectrograph at the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope (CFHT).

A spectrograph is an instrument that is used to study the chemical / physical conditions that exist through a cross-section of space. Combined with an astronomical telescope a spectrograph can reveal the details that are stored in the spectral distribution of light from a distant astronomical body.

With the main workshops and test facilities deep underground in an area excavated from solid chalk, temperatures in Optical Surfaces Ltd. production facility remain constant year-round and vibration is practically non-existent. These are important considerations when making, mounting and testing high precision telescope spectrograph optics. Benefiting from this unique stabilised environment Optical Surfaces Ltd has developed a reputation for designing and producing large and demanding telescope spectrograph optics (aspherics, mirrors, prisms, lenses and flats) that would stretch the limits of conventional optical fabrication techniques.

Investment in a range of interferometers allows one-to-one testing of even the largest diameter spectrograph optics. Topographic and fringe analysis provides precise testing of surface roughness and confirms the wavefront of various surface forms. Operating 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 telescope spectrograph optics from Optical Surfaces Ltd. is second to none.

For further information on high precision spectrograph optics please visit https://www.optisurf.com/frame1.htm or contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on telephone on +44-208-668-6126 or email sales@optisurf.com.

High Precision Reference and Transmission Flats

Working with high-stability materials such as glass, Zerodur and silica – Optical Surfaces Ltd. has established itself as a premier supplier of high precision reference and transmission flats to many leading research organisations and national standards laboratories worldwide.

Benefiting from a unique thermally stable manufacturing environment – Optical Surfaces Ltd. is able to routinely achieve a surface accuracy of lambda/20 p.v. and surface roughness of 10 A rms on reference and transmission Flats up to 600mm (24 inches) in diameter.

high precision reference and transmission flats

Reference & Transmission Flats from Optical Surfaces Ltd.

All reference flats from Optical Surfaces come with full quality testing assurance. Flats up to 450 mm (18 inches) diameter are provided with a Fizeau interferometric test report, larger flats are quality assured using the Ritchey-Common test procedure.

Transmission Flats are used when measuring the surface quality or transmitted wavefront of flat surfaces or optics. Reference flats are used for measuring surface flatness of polished areas by determining the variations between work surfaces and the surface of the optical flat. Uses include high precision applications in astronomy, laser beam steering, inspecting gauge blocks for wear and accuracy and interferometric flatness testing of prisms, filters and optical windows.

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 optics for high power laser research facilities. 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 relating to high precision transmission and reference flats please contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 or email sales@optisurf.com.

Rutherford Petawatt Laser to Explore New Areas of Physics

Optical Surfaces Ltd. has delivered an extremely high quality F0.8 on-axis parabola of 175mm diameter to the Central Laser Facility at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

F0.8 Parabolic Mirror for Astra Gemini Laser Beam Focusing

The Central Laser Facility (CLF) at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) is one of the world’s leading laser facilities providing scientists from the UK and Europe with an unparalleled range of state-of-the-art laser technology. 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.

Due to be installed on the Astra Gemini laser beam line the diffraction limited on-axis mirror will be used to focus the beam line energy to produce a maximum focused intensity of c. 1022 Wcm-2 enabling researchers to explore new areas of physics.

Using proprietary production techniques – Optical Surfaces highly experienced and skilled production team produced the fast focusing on-axis parabolic mirror with a surface accuracy of better than lambda/10 P-V and smoothness of 20/10 scratch/dig. The excellent surface quality achieved during manufacturing together with the exceptional high reflectivity coatings will enable RAL researchers to achieve the high optical performance and efficiency required by their ground breaking experiments. The optics were manufactured in Zerodur and coated using a special type high performance UV-Silver coating suitable for high reflectivity (R>98%) throughout the wavelength range between 350-800nm.

Peta Foster, Astro Gemini Link Scientist, commented “Our primary aim is the production of the highest intensity ever produced with a laser. This optic was extremely demanding in specification and we are delighted to take receipt of it. The focus of this optic should deliver a 5x increase in laser intensity that we hope will enable the study of an exciting new regime in laser-matter interactions”.

Dr Aris Kouris of Optical Surfaces Ltd commented “We were delighted to have again been selected by a world-class laser facility to produce optics key to their future research. In this project the great challenge was to achieve the targeted surface accuracy and local gradients simultaneously for such a highly aspheric mirror (0.4mm of asphericity) and of this size. The higher the asphericity and the smaller the size of the optic the more difficult is to control both optical performance parameters but especially the local gradients. This is due to the fact that the gradients are changing directions very rapidly over a short distance making it extremely challenging to achieve. Optical performance at that level requires mastering of technical and practical aspects at multiple levels”.

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 optics for high power laser research facilities. 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.

For further information relating to Central Laser Facility at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory please visit www.clf.rl.ac.uk.

For further information relating to diffraction limited parabolic mirrors please contact Optical Surfaces Ltd by telephone on +44-208-668-6126 or email sales@optisurf.com.

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