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

Hyperbolic Optics with Extremely Tight Tolerances

Drawing upon 50 years precision optics manufacturing experience – Optical Surfaces Ltd. has established a worldwide reputation of being able to deal with the extremely tight tolerances and accuracy that hyperbolic optics demand.

Hyperbolic Optics with Extremely Tight TolerancesHyperboloids are generally used in optical telescope systems where good off-axis performance is an important requirement. Optical Surfaces supplied hyperboloids have been at the heart of many deep space and earth observation satellites including BNSC’s Top Sat, the NASA swift explorer as well as ESA’s XMM and NigeriaSAT-2.

Benefiting from a uniquely stable manufacturing environment and proprietary production techniques – Optical Surfaces Ltd.’s skilled craftsmen are able to economically produce hyperbolic optics up to 500mm diameter with typical wavefront error of lambda/20 P-V, surface finish of 10/5 and microroughness less than 1.2nm RMS. Hyperbolic optics can be supplied mounted or mounted and with a coating exactly optimised for your application. Where weight is an issue – Optical Surfaces also has experience in producing hyperboloids with light-weighting options.

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 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 relating to hyperbolic optics please visit click here or contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 / sales@optisurf.com

Practical Guide to Off-Axis Parabolic Mirror Alignment

Drawing upon over 50 years experience in producing the most demanding high precision off-axis parabolic (OAP) mirrors – Optical Surfaces Ltd. has produced a new 10-page practical alignment guide to enable users to get top performance from their optics.

The illustrated alignment guide includes an introduction to OAP geometry as well as step-by step instructions on initial alignment; tips to correct for errors in focus & tilt, set off-axis distance and rotation and a final alignment procedure to ensure optimised performance.

Off-axis paraboloids (OAPs), sometimes refered to off-axis parabolic mirrors or off-axis parabola, 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.

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

Production approved to ISO 9001-2008 the quality of OAPs from Optical Surfaces Ltd. is ensured using a range of interferometric and surface test measurements on all optics leaving the factory. Benefiting from over 50 years experience in producing the most demanding high precision optics and optical systems – Optical Surfaces OAPs are used by many leading research establishments and companies around the world. Typical applications for off axis paraboloids include 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.

High Precision Off Axis Paraboloids

High Precision Off Axis ParaboloidsOptical Surfaces Ltd. has announced a new technical datasheet** describing its range of standard and customer specified off axis paraboloids.

Off-axis paraboloids (OAPs) 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 OAPs from Optical Surfaces Ltd. is ensured using a range of interferometric and surface test measurements on all optics leaving the factory. Benefiting from over 50 years experience in producing the most demanding high precision optics and optical systems – Optical Surfaces OAPs are used by many leading research establishments and companies around the world. Typical applications for off axis paraboloids include 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.

high precision off-axis paraboloidsOptical 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.

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

** https://www.optisurf.com/index.php/products/off-axis-paraboloids-oap-2

Informative Website for High Precision Optics Users

Optical Surfaces Ltd. (Kenley, UK) has announced the launch of a new information rich website dedicated to serving the diverse range of industries that benefit from high precision optics and optical systems.

Dr Aris Kouris, Sales Manager commented, “Over the last 50 years – Optical Surfaces has established itself as a leading international manufacturer of top quality, high precision optical components and systems by serving the particular needs of organisations involved with fundamental physics, astronomy, space, defence and the environment. Today the company supplies leading research labs and industrial organisations around the world with optical components and instruments including flats, spheres, aspherics, paraboloids, toroids, windows and mounts”. He added “In support of our customers and optics users worldwide, Optical Surfaces is proud to announce the launch of their new website”.

The site, is a dynamically driven, highly functional online resource describing the company’s extensive product manufacturing capabilities, as well as providing regularly updated informative content and news. Intuitively structured, the site provides effortless navigation and rapid access to comprehensive technical product information, an expanding database of ‘application stories’ describing the company’s ‘products in action’ and the latest news on technological and product developments. Further information on the company, their global representatives and their schedule of events and exhibitions are also available.

Optical Surfaces Ltd is today acknowledged as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of top quality, high precision optics, optical and opto-mechanical 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 please visit the new website or contact Optical Surfaces Ltd. on +44-208-668-6126 or email sales@optisurf.com.

Broadband Collimator System Enables Diffraction Limited Measurement

Optical Surfaces Ltd. has supplied a motorised 155mm aperture UV-VIS-NIR broadband collimator system and interferometric alignment system to the DLR Institute of Optical Sensor Systems at the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) in Berlin, Germany.

DLR is Germany’s national research centre for aeronautics and space. Its extensive research and development work in aeronautics, space, transportation and energy is integrated into national and international cooperative ventures. As Germany’s Space Agency, the German federal government has given DLR responsibility for the forward planning and implementation of the German space programme as well as international representation of Germany’s interests.

broadband-collimator-systemIlse Sebastian, Project Manager at DLR commented “The primary aims of installing this new system in our class 100,000 clean room will be to enable broad-band diffraction limited imaging for MTF measurement, focusing and geometric calibration of single optics and focal planes, fully integrated camera systems and imaging spectrometers at wavelengths between 230 nm and 2.6 µm. Exact positioning of targets at the collimator focus is achieved using x,y,z step motors that deliver movement steps of better than 1 arc second. Thermal sensors incorporated into the body of the collimator will allow us to make measurements immune to operating temperature changes. To monitor and verify that the system is consistently in alignment – Optical Surfaces also designed and supplied a software-operated Laser Unequal Pathlength Interferometer (LUPI) system to interface with the collimator system”. She added ” We selected Optical Surfaces Ltd for this important and challenging custom specified project because of its considerable expertise and experience in producing complete collimator assemblies based around high precision optics and its decades of experience which ensure that in mounting the optics, performance is not compromised”.

Dr Aris Kouris of Optical Surfaces Ltd commented “The DLR project presented us with a series of challenges that required the considerable optomechanical expertise of our design, development and production team to solve”. “The result of our collaboration with DLR has been to produce a motorised broadband (UV to IR) collimator system which is able to make geometrical calibration, focusing and MTF measurements on optics, camera systems and spectrometers with multiple degrees of freedom and unmatched accuracy”.

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 9001-2000 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 the Institute of Optical Sensor Systems at Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) please visit https://www.dlr.de/os

For further information relating to off-axis reflecting collimator and beam expander systems for space and aeronautic research please contact Optical Surfaces Ltd by telephone on +44-208-668-6126 or email sales@optisurf.com.

Optical Surfaces Ltd. Celebrates 50 Years in Business

optical surfaces ltdSpecialist high precision optics manufacturer – Optical Surfaces Ltd. (Kenley, UK) celebrated 50 years in business on 13th April 2012.

Over the last half century – Optical Surfaces Ltd has established itself as a leading international manufacturer of top quality, high precision optical components and systems by serving the particular needs of organisations involved with fundamental physics, astronomy, space, defence and the environment. Today the company supplies leading research labs and industrial organisations around the world with optical components and instruments including flats, spheres, aspherics, paraboloids, toroids, windows and mounts. Optical Surfaces Ltd is especially renowned for its expertise in large optics, beam expanders, collimators and prototypes.

Dr Aris Kouris, Sales Manager of Optical Surfaces Ltd commented “Despite the pressures of global recession we have managed to increase sales by 20% over the last 3 years. Notable in this growth has been two major projects, increased volume optics customers and shipment of several complete systems which integrated precision optics, mechanics and software”. He added “To celebrate our 50th anniversary we will launch a completely new, information-rich website later this month and several new products including a high precision 5-axis Mount and an Unequal Path Interferometer over the course of 2012”.

Optical Surfaces 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. Working with these natural advantages is a highly skilled team of craftsmen with a commitment to excellence in both product quality and customer service. With such stable conditions testing of high precision optics and optical systems, particularly with long path lengths, becomes quantifiable and reliable.

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

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