Large Diameter Reference Flats and Mirrors

Optical Surfaces is a well-established supplier of large, high precision reference flats and mirrors (coated flats) to research establishments, national standards laboratories and organisations worldwide.

Benefiting from a unique thermally stable manufacturing environment, and working with high-stability materials such as Pyrex, 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 reference flats up to 600mm in diameter. A datasheet detailing standard specifications for these reference flats (diameter: 105mm – 600mm) may be downloaded from the Optical Surfaces website (www.optisurf.com/index.php/products/flats-and-windows/flats/)

Reference Mirrors and FlatsIn addition to its standard reference flats, Optical Surfaces offers special options for non-circular shaped flats, higher surface accuracy / quality, precision mounts, light-weighted options and an extensive range of coatings for demanding applications. 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 are quality assured using the Ritchey-Common test procedure.

Reference flats are a proven method of measuring the surface accuracy or the transmitted wavefront of flat surfaces or optics. Applications where Optical Surfaces reference flats are used include astronomy, laser beam steering, inspecting gauge blocks for wear and accuracy and interferometric flatness testing of prisms, filters and optical windows.

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

High Throughput Achromatic Beam Expanders

Achromatic Beam ExpandersOptical Surfaces beam expanders incorporate off-axis mirrors which provide an unobstructed output and highly efficient transmission.

Beam expanders are the optical tool of choice for increasing the diameter of a collimated input beam to a larger collimated output beam. Beam expanders are used in applications such as, high power lasers, laser scanning, interferometry, LIDAR systems and remote sensing. OSL Beam Expanders are ideal for applications in which a small spot must be formed at some distance from the laser, or where the collimation range must be extended for illumination, or for alignment of distant objects.

Available in standard (5x, 10x, 15x and 20x fixed magnification) or customer specified (fixed or variable magnification) configurations – OSL beam expander are designed to be easy to use and to provide accurate, unobstructed expansion of any collimated input light source.

The reflective design of OSL beam expanders is achromatic and with aluminium coatings can operate from UV to far IR without adjustment. Optical Surfaces beam expanders are portable and can be used without the need for internal re-alignment.

Each OSL beam expander is supplied housed in aluminium housing with provision for fixing to an optical table. Alignment aids are provided to ensure correct beam pointing. Manufactured to better than lambda/5 surface accuracy, the off-axis design of OSL Beam Expanders produces no central obscuration and highly efficient transmission is obtained, unspoilt by spider diffraction patterns. An interferogram and OPD map is supplied with every beam expander manufactured by Optical Surfaces.

Optical Surfaces ISO 9001-2000 approved manufacturing facility provides the flexible resources to supply from single specialist requirements to OEM quantities.

For further information on standard or custom specified Beam Expanders click here or contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optisurf.com

Ultra Smooth Mirrors for Demanding Applications

Optical Surfaces Ltd has been producing optical components and systems for more than 50 years and is acknowledged as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of ultra smooth parabolic, ellipsoidal, spherical and toroidal mirrors for the most demanding applications.

Leading edge applications that have benefited from the company’s ultra smooth off-axis parabolic mirrors include high power laser electron acceleration / beam focusing experiments, broadband collimators systems, satellite / ground based telescope research, remote sensing systems, interferometric beam expanders and MTF measurement systems. Ellipsoidal mirrors from Optical Surfaces are helping push the boundaries of telescopic solar research. High precision toroidal mirrors from Optical Surfaces are helping improve the achievable performance of mass spectrometers and opening up exciting new imaging applications in the medical field. A 1.3m diameter spherical spectrograph mirror was a key component that helped produce the first observable evidence of the existence of black holes.

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.

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 accuracies to lambda/20p-v depending upon off-axis angles. With proprietary polishing techniques the company 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 ~ 1 nm rms. Full details of achievable specifications for ultra smooth ellipsoidal, spherical and torroidal mirrors can be obtained from the product capabilities section on www.optisurf.com.

For further information or to discuss your application requirements please contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optisurf.com

Custom Optical Prisms

Optical Surfaces Ltd. manufacture high quality prisms to customer supplied specifications in quantities ranging from prototypes, through batch runs to production quantities.

Operating in a uniquely stable manufacturing environment – Optical Surfaces has experience of producing all types and configurations of prism (amici/roof, bi-Fresnal, corner cube retroreflectors, dove, equilateral, isoceles, penta, rhomboid and wedge) with market- leading tolerances. Available as single components (up to 450mm) or cemented units – Optical Surfaces routinely achieves angle accuracy of better than 2 arc seconds, surface accuracy of lambda/20 p-v, 10/5 surface quality and microroughness of less than 1.2nm rms.

Custom Optical PrismA prism is a transparent optical element with flat, polished surfaces that refract or re-direct light. At least two of the flat surfaces must have an angle between them. The exact angles between the surfaces depend on the application. Manufactured from a range of top quality optical glasses and available coated (AR, Reflective) or uncoated – Optical Surfaces prisms are the components of choice for applications including image rotation, inversion, re-direction and to disperse light into its consituent colours.

Drawing upon over 50 years experience – Optical Surfaces ISO 9001-2008 approved manufacturing facility provides full test data with every prism leading its facility.

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

Practical Guide to Surface Quality

Surface Quality HandbookOptical Surfaces Ltd. (OSL) has produced its ‘Practical Guide to Surface Quality’ – the second in a series of practical guides for optics users.

The informative new 12-page guide is written to enable scientists and engineers better understand an optics quoted surface quality as surface imperfections are typically the most misunderstood, misinterpreted, and ambiguous of all optical specifications.

Key reasons why surface quality is an important consideration in selecting optics are associated with cosmetic acceptability and often more importantly with the functionality / performance of the component. The presence of defects on the surface of an optical component can scatter light which in some circumstances may affect its performance.

The OSL illustrated surface quality application guide includes an introduction to commonly used surface quality terms such as ‘scratch’ and ‘dig’ as well as providing definition of the MIL spec, ISO 10110 and DIN 3140 standards. Detailed information is provided on practical applications of the U.S military MIL spec and international ISO 10110 standards. Further a comparison is provided between these two standards to illustrate the different ways in which they describe surface quality in a consistent manner. Finally the guide details typical application for different quoted scratch/dig surface qualities from 80/50 (commercial grade optics, commonly acceptable standard for imaging applications) right through to 10/5 (High precision optics, used for the most demanding high power laser applications).

For a copy of the new ‘Practical Guide to Surface Quality’ please click here or contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on telephone on +44-208-668-6126 or email sales@optisurf.com.

Optical Surfaces Optics Help SSTL Win Prestigious Award

NigeriaSat-2 a highly advanced Earth observation satellite, incorporating a high performance camera with key optical components manufactured by Optical Surfaces Ltd, has helped Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) win the 2012 Sir Arthur Clarke award for “Best Space Activity – Industry / project”. The prestigious awards, held by the British Interplanetary Society since 2005, recognise notable contributions to the UK space sector.

NigeriaSat-2 is 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. the satellite has been able to capture stunning 2.5m resolution images enabling detailed analysis of ground structures, aircraft and vehicles.

NigeriaSat-2-500

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.

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 over 500 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite subsystems and optical instruments. Since 1981 SSTL has launched 41 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 BV. www.sstl.co.uk

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

Portable Reflective Collimators Deliver Top Performance

Optical Surfaces Ltd’s comprehensive range of fully enclosed pre-aligned reflective collimators uniquely combine portability and operational convenience with top performance.

fully-enclosed-pre-aligned-reflective-collimator

High stability and performance is achieved using a zero expansion off-axis parabola, manufactured to better than lambda/10 p-v surface accuracy. The optics within the instrument, 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.

Reflective collimators are mirror assemblies that take divergent or convergent incoming light rays and produce parallel light output. They can be used to replicate a target at infinity without parallax. Reflective collimators can be used to calibrate other optical devices, to check if all elements are aligned on the optical axis, to set elements at proper focus, or to align two or more devices. OSL Relective Collimators are the optical system of choice for applications including MTF testing, optical resolution testing, star simulation, MRTD testing and boresight alignment and inspection.

The all-reflecting design of OSL 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 OSL Reflective Collimators provide exceptional operational stability. Each system 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.

A wide choice of options enables OSL Reflective Collimators to be tailored to suit your exact needs. For applications demanding the highest reflectivity and high damage threshold, ultra-hard dielectric, protected silver and gold laser coatings are available. For applications requiring operation over a wide temperature range athermalised Reflective Collimators can be supplied. 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, lamphouses and black bodies.

Test interferogram and analysis, showing wavefront accuracy, focal length and working distance, are supplied with every Reflective Collimator supplied by Optical Surfaces Ltd. Optical Surfaces ISO 9001-2008 approved manufacturing facility provides the flexible resources to supply from single specialist requirements to OEM quantities.

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

Low Stray Light Ellipsoidal Mirror Helps Push the Boundaries of Solar Research

Optical Surfaces Ltd. has supplied a 350mm diameter on-axis ellipsoidal mirror to the Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik (KIS) in Freiberg, Germany.

The Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik (KIS) is Germany’s leading institute for solar research with ground based telescopes. It runs two telescopes on the island of Tenerife: the Vacuum Tower Telescope (VTT) which has an aperture of 0.7 m and the GREGOR telescope that has an aperture of 1.5 m.

kiepenheuer-institut-fur-sonnenphysikDr. Dirk Soltau, an Experimental Solar Physics Scientist with KIS commented “The VTT telescope is equipped with optics supplied by Optical Surfaces in the 1980’s. When it came to the replacement of the GREGOR tertiary mirror in 2012 – Optical Surfaces Ltd. was again the successful bidder. The new GREGOR M3 is an elliptical mirror with two foci that was specified with particular emphasis on low stray light levels. Drawing upon their depth of expertise and experience in producing demanding telescope optics – the on-axis ellipsoidal mirror supplied by Optical Surfaces surpassed our specifications and was successfully implemented on the GREGOR telescope in February 2013.”

Dr Aris Kouris of Optical Surfaces Ltd commented “To achieve the demanding low stray light levels we chose to produce the GREGOR tertiary mirror in ClearCeram-z (HS). Using proprietary polishing techniques our skilled craftsmen were able to achieve a surface accuracy of nearly Lambda/17 P-V at 633nm, a surface quality of better than 20/10 and an ultra-smooth finish measured at less than 0.60nm RMS. In addition, the “structure function” was measured at the request of KIS. The structure function is a logarithmic plot of the wavefront error as a function of the spatial frequency components. In effect it describes the presence of individual spatial frequencies and their contribution to mirror’s performance. The resulting function measured, although it followed the predicted theoretical trend, was significantly better than expected”.

Optical Surfaces Ltd (www.optisurf.com) 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 optical systems for telescope and satellite based space observation 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 further information relating to high precision optics and optical systems for telescope and satellite systems please contact Optical Surfaces Ltd by telephone on +44-208-668-6126 or email sales@optisurf.com.

Optical Surfaces Ltd. Supplies dichroic beamsplitter for Adaptive Optics at Gran Telescopio de Canarias

Optical Surfaces Ltd. has manufactured and supplied a 180mm diameter dichroic beamsplitter that will form a key component of the adaptive optics currently being integrated with the Gran Telescopio de Canarias (GTC).

optspr130-imageAThe Gran Telescopio de Canarias is a 10.4m reflecting telescope with a segmented primary mirror. It is located at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, one of the top astronomical sites in the northern hemisphere. The GTC (www.gtc.iac.es) is a Spanish initiative lead by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.

Mireia Rosado Rubio, an Optical Engineer in the Development Group at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias commented “The adaptive optics (AO) system is intended to provide diffraction limited images with the GTC in the H and K bands. This is achieved by correcting the wavefront distortions induced by atmospheric turbulence. A Shack-Hartmann type wavefront sensor measures the perturbations, and a corrective element (deformable mirror) applies the opposite of the perturbations measured in order to cancel the wavefront distortions. The dichroic beamsplitter is an essential component of the GTC AO system, as it allows us to direct the infrared part of the spectrum to the science instrument and the visible part of the spectrum to the wavefront sensor. In this way, all the light in the part of the spectrum we are interested in, is delivered to the science instrument”.

optspr130-imageBShe added ” We selected Optical Surfaces Ltd to supply the dichroic beamsplitter because of its considerable expertise and experience in producing demanding high precision optics and optical systems, at an affordable price, for terrestrial telescope and satellite based space observation systems “. “The dichroic beamsplitter supplied fulfilled all our requirements and we were particularly pleased with the support provided by Optical Surfaces after delivery”.

Dr Aris Kouris of Optical Surfaces Ltd commented “A key objective in the production of the Infrasil 301 dichroic beamsplitter was to maintain a good surface accuracy for the filter side and a good wavefront error in transmission at the exit of the filtering window. One of the major difficulties we had to overcome, in order to do this, was to maintain the surface accuracy at the filter side since hard AR coatings tend to pull the surface and add power. In order to maintain a low contribution of saggita error we deliberately left one side slightly concave and the other slightly convex. The reason for this is because we know that hard coatings tend to convert surfaces into becoming more convex after they have been coated. The coating that was considered to exert the strongest pull was applied to the concave side whereas the coating considered to have the least stronger pull was applied at the convex side. The idea was that after coating the differential between the two coatings would tend to make the concave side more convex and the convex side more concave and act as a compensating factor at the correct direction. The effective result would be to have a flatter surface at both sides and or minimise the effects of power error contribution after coating”.

Optical 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 optical systems for telescope and satellite based space observation systems. 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 high precision optics and optical systems for space and aeronautic research please contact Optical Surfaces Ltd by telephone on +44-208-668-6126 or email sales@optisurf.com.

Vulcan Laser Focuses On Electron Acceleration Experiments

Optical Surfaces has supplied an ultra high precision off-axis parabolic mirror to the Central Laser Facility at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) in Didcot, UK.

The ultra smooth mirror will form a crucial focusing element in RAL’s ongoing experimentation using the Vulcan Nd:Glass High Energy Laser.

Trevor Winstone, Operations Manager for the Vulcan Laser at RAL commented “The F/15 off-axis parabola will be used for experiments that require long Rayleigh focal length such as electron acceleration experiments”. The advance in laser technology to ultra-high intense (>1018Wcm-2) short-pulse (<1ps) lasers has made it possible to study laser-plasma interactions at ultra-high intensities. Applications include particle accelerators, inertial confinement fusion schemes and also biological and medical technologies. He added "We selected Optical Surfaces Ltd to supply this precison focusing optic because of their long proven track record in manufacturing and supplying high quality, demanding optics to ultra high power laser facilities around the world". Using proprietary production techniques - Optical Surfaces’ highly experienced and skilled production team produced the 320mm diameter off-axis parabolic mirror with a surface accuracy of better than lambda/8 P-V, surface gradient of better than lambda/20 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 off-axis mirror was manufactured in ClearCeram HS and coated using a special high performance coating to produce high reflectivity (R>99%) at 1053 and 527nm.

Dr Aris Kouris of Optical Surfaces Ltd. commented “ The most demanding part of the producing this demanding optic was to achieve the surface gradients which required an iterative process in order to achieve the required smoothness. To achieve lambda/20 P-V surface gradients specification using an iterative process added a significant amount of handling during the manufacturing that increased the risks for markings. Fortunately our skilled craftsmen are highly experienced in handling optics and maintaining a very high surface quality “.

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.

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.

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

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