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Optimax Technical Papers

Freeform Technical Expertise

Measurement of mid-spatial frequency errors on freeform optics using deflectometry

Freeform optics have emerged as a new tool for optical designers and integrators. Manufacturing innovations are gradually increasing availability of precision freeform optics.

Absolute freeform surface measurement using interferometry

We will present a case study of a characteristic freeform production optic that required an absolute positioning measurement procedure utilizing a custom dual computer generated hologram (CGH) interferogram set-up

Design and Manufacturing Considerations for Freeform Optical Surfaces

Freeform optical systems are becoming increasingly common due to new design and manufacturing methods. We present an example compact freeform optical system and describe considerations for transfer of the prescription of freeform surfaces for fabrication

The Manufacturing of a Multi-surface Monolithic Telescope with Freeform Surfaces

Monolithic multi-surface telescopes combined with freeform optical surfaces provide improvements in optical performance in a smaller footprint as compared to systems with spherical surfaces, while providing superior mechanical stability to traditional telescope assemblies. Three different monolithic telescope concepts, in different configurations and optical performance were produced as proof of concepts

Scaling-up freeform manufacturing: challenges and solutions

With optical technology and design advances, larger freeform optics are increasingly sought after by consumers for an expanding number of applications. This paper will present some of the challenges and solutions of extending freeform polishing capabilities from approximately 150 mm diameter parts to a component of over 500 mm in diameter

Larger format freeform fabrication and metrology

This paper will address challenges that have been encountered in the manufacturing, testing, and handling of freeforms as their size expands up to and beyond 500 mm, and provide future work that will address each challenge

Challenges in size scale up of freeform polishing processes

This paper will discuss challenges faced as a result of scaling up our freeform polishing process from parts with approximately 150 mm diameters, to polishing components with diameters over 600 mm

Pushing Freeform Optical Manufacturing: Fabricating Optimax’s Largest Freeform Component

Several challenges associated with part size and shape complexity were solved during the manufacture of the largest extreme freeform shape Optimax has fabricated to date

Measurement of mid-spatial frequency errors on freeform optics using deflectometry

Freeform optics have emerged as a new tool for optical designers and integrators. Manufacturing innovations are gradually increasing availability of precision freeform optics.

Top Five Common Freeforms

The top five common freeforms have gained popularity with lens designers and optical system interrogators. 

Integrating Optical, Mechanical and Test Software

Optical systems must perform under environmental conditions including thermal and mechanical loading. To predict the performance in the field, an integrated analysis combining optical and mechanical software is required to understand optical performance. 

Advances in Freeform Optics Fabrication for Conformal Window and Dome Applications

Freeform optical shapes or optical surfaces that are designed with non-symmetric features are gaining popularity. This enabling technology allows for conformal sensor windows and domes that provide enhanced aerodynamic properties

Conformal window manufacturing process development and demonstrations for polycrystalline materials

Conformal windows pose new and unique challenges to manufacturing due to the shape, measurement of, and requested hard polycrystalline materials. Optimax has developed a process for manufacturing conformal windows out of fused silica, glass, zinc-sulfide multispectral, and spinel. 

Metrology for the Manufacturing of Freeform Optics

Freeform optical surfaces are gaining popularity with lens designers and optical system integrators as a method to solve complex optical system design problems. Fortunately, advances in optical manufacturing have opened the possibility for designers to manufacture these complex surfaces

Freeform Optical manufacturing and testing processes for IR Conformal Window and Domes

Freeform optical shapes that are designed with non-symmetric features allow for conformal sensor windows and domes that provide enhanced aerodynamic properties as well as environmental and ballistic protection

Manufacturing and Metrology for IR Conformal Windows and Domes

Freeform and conformal optics have the potential to dramatically improve optical systems by enabling systems with fewer
optical components, reduced aberrations, and improved aerodynamic performance

Fabricating freeform multispectral-ZnS corrector lenses

For more than 100 years, optical imaging systems were limited to rotationally symmetric lens elements, due to limitations in processing optics. However, the present application of CNC machines has made the fabrication of non-rotationally symmetric lenses, such as freeform surfaces, economical

Incorporating VIBE into precision optics manufacturing process

The VIBE™ process is a full-aperture, conformal polishing process that has the potential to be introduced in areas of today’s modern optics manufacturing process

Evolving rocket optics applications drive manufacturing advances

Improvements to sensing hardware and image processing for airborne optical systems have inspired designers to propose new optics and windows to be: more precise, conformal/freeform and multi-functional. 

Tolerancing an Optical Freeform Surface

Freeform optical shapes or optical surfaces that are designed with non-symmetric features are gaining popularity with lens
designers and optical system integrators. Tolerances on a freeform optical design influence the optical fabrication process

The need for Fiducials on Freeform Optical Surfaces

Freeform surfaces typically have little to no symmetry, making the alignment of the surfaces difficult. Fiducials are required to achieve higher accuracy measurements of freeform optical surfaces

Importance of Fiducials on Freeform Optics

Freeform optical surfaces, which have little to no symmetry, are gaining popularity with lens designers and optical system integrators. Using fiducials properly leads to higher accuracy measurements and allows more control of the surface throughout the manufacturing process

Manufacturing of a large, extreme freeform, conformal window with robotic polishing

Our robotic polishing platforms are able to polish large, difficult-to-make optical surfaces with minimal surface error. 

Metrology of Freeform Optics

Proper metrology is required to monitor and verify the freeform fabrication processes to improve capability and precision

Freeform Monolithic Multi-Surface Telescope Manufacturing

The freeform monolithic multi-surface telescope design has all its off-axis optical surfaces manufactured from a single optical blank, resulting in truly monolithic telescope design, providing improvements in stability and payload. 

Producing Smooth Surfaces on Polycrystalline ZnS Aspheres and Freeforms

The addition of VIBE smoothing as the final optical fabrication process yields highly smooth surfaces on polycrystalline aspheres, improving optical performance. 

Deterministic Form Correction of Extreme Freeform Optical Surfaces

Optimax has developed a variety of new deterministic freeform manufacturing processes by combining traditional optical fabrication techniques with cutting edge technological innovations

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