The Manufacturing Tolerance Chart provides tolerance guidelines for prototype optics with optical surfaces of f/1 or slower and made from Optimax Preferred Glasses. Consult this chart to determine appropriate tolerances and click on any attribute to show a detailed definition.
Optimax has developed an interactive cost tolerancing chart to provide sliding scales of the three major variables that affect optical surfaces and costs which are, cosmetics, radius, and irregularity.
Optimax maintains a sizable inventory of standard grade optical materials, as identified in the highlighted column below. These glasses are recommended when quick delivery is critical. As required, optical crystals and ceramics are also processed at Optimax. At the time of order placement, some consideration should be given to material delivery.
Optimax has a large test plate library of nearly 10,000 radii. We make test plates for custom optics as required. The Optimax Test Plate Library is integral to most optical design software. The current list can be downloaded by clicking below or contact us and we will send you a copy.
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Selecting suitable optical material is important when designing aerospace optical systems.
Schott and Ohara offer a variety of i-line glasses with enhanced blue transmittance which are successfully utilized in space applications. Advanced melting techniques and purer raw materials are used in developing these i-line glasses, improving the internal transmittance and homogeneity values. Proper radiation filtering is necessary for protection of the optics. These glasses are commonly used in semiconductor applications; therefore, they are melted frequently and readily available.
Another consideration when choosing optics for aerospace is radiation resistance. Exposure to high energy radiation changes the transmittance of optical glass. Adding cerium to the composition improves the glasses’ resistance to radiation. By doing this, the transmittance edge is shifted to longer wavelengths but stabilized against radiation to a high degree. The higher amount of cerium in the composition, the greater the stabilizing effect and the more resistant the glass is to high radiation. In general, Schott radiation resistant glasses are inquiry glasses and may not be in stock.
These radiation hardened glasses tend to have a longer life cycle in space, but exhibit lower transmission in the blue compared to their undoped counterparts (i.e. N-BK-7 vs. BK7G18 – SCHOTT Technical Information #42). For optical systems requiring high blue transmittance, i-line glasses and Fluoride Crystals (CaF2, BaF2, MgF2) can be used with proper radiation filtering that protects the optical elements. However, for optical systems that are going to be exposed to high radiation over long time periods, cerium stabilized glasses are the preferred solution. Popular materials are listed in the chart below.