Optical Domes

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A dome is composed of two parallel optical surfaces. Among optics domes are unique because, unlike any other optical components, the key attribute of the dome is to have no optical effect. Mirrors reflect light, lenses bend light, domes ideally change nothing.

Typically the lead element in an optical system, a dome is often exposed to the environment. Accordingly, domes made from hard ceramic materials are preferred due to their ability to withstand wind and rain erosion. Domes are typically found in single-use defense applications and submersible vehicles for deep ocean exploration.

Specifying Domes

In describing a dome, the material, one radius, center thickness, and wall thickness variation (WTV) (Figure 1) must be effectively specified. All other attributes generally follow the specifications typical of a spherical lens.

Specifying Optical Dome Radius
The image above shows WTV related to radius error, grossly exaggerated for illustrative purposes. Other WTV sources may include irregularity, tilt or decenter of the concentric surface.

For more information please contact sales@optimaxsi.com.

Manufacturing Technology

Optimax utilizes deterministic CNC machine tools for predictable removal rates and adherence to tight tolerances. To control WTV, precision tools that maintain surface registration are used. Optimax grinds and polishes most optical materials such as glass, Fused Silica, ALON™, CeraLumina™, Spinel, ZnS and crystals for UV, Visible and IR applications.

For more information please contact sales@optimaxsi.com or see:

Testing Domes

Optimax uses interferometers and mechanical measurement to verify that parts meet the form error specification. Optimax has developed interferometric test techniques for overcoming static fringes.

For more information please contact sales@optimaxsi.com.

Optical Dome Coatings, optical dome specifications for manufacturingCoating Capabilities

Our clean environment thin film coating lab has capability to coat from UV through IR wavelengths. Featuring multiple chambers with deposition sources, including electron-beam and ion assist, Optimax can offer a wide variety of coating options including BBAR, V-coat, and mirror coatings. Custom coatings are also available. Coating verification is supported by Perkin-Elmer spectrophotometers.

For more information please see Optimax's Coatings Data Sheet or use of Coating Uniformity.

Quality Assurance

Optimax inspects 100% of all optics. Test data is provided with prototype orders. The use of state-of-the-art metrology assures customer satisfaction.

For more information please see Optimax's Inspection Data Options.

Fast Delivery

Optimax manufactures a wide variety of optical components. When on-time delivery is crucial, Optimax offers an expedited delivery option with a money back guarantee.

For more information please see the information on Optimax's On-Time Guarantee.

Future Capabilities

Optimax's R&D department is continously looking for ways to improve our fabrication process and produce higher quality optics. Our current research projects are designed to meet future market needs, such as:

  • Conformal and free form optics
  • New optical material processing

For more information please see Optimax Innovation or contact sales@optimaxsi.com.