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Optimax Technical Papers

Innovative Optics Manufacturing

Temperature Variation of Pitch in a Pitch Pot

Opticians have for years kept polishing pitch in electrified containers called “pitch pots” that keeps it in at an elevated temperature. By insulating the top of a pitch pot, it will impact the temperature, which we will explore in this paper

Temperature Variation of Pitch in a Pitch Pot

Opticians have for years kept polishing pitch in electrified containers called “pitch pots” that keeps it in at an elevated temperature. By insulating the top of a pitch pot, it will impact the temperature, which we will explore in this paper

U.S. National Committee proposed revision to the ISO Laser Damage Standard

The Optics and Electro-Optics Standards Council (OEOSC) Task Force (TF) 7 has proposed a Type 1 laser damage test procedure and deemed it the most valuable in the U.S. laser market. 

The Segmented Aperture Interferometric Nulling Testbed

This work presents an overview of the Segmented Aperture Interferometric Nulling Testbed (SAINT), a project that will pair an actively-controlled macro-scale segmented mirror with the Visible Nulling Coronagraph (VNC). 

Design Guidelines for Predicting Stress in Cemented Doublets

This explores quick predictive methods for calculating potentially risky stresses in cemented doublets underdoing temperature change that agrees well with finite element analysis. It also provides guidelines for avoiding stress concentrations

Statistical distributions from Lens Manufacturing Data

Optical designers assume a mathematically derived statistical distribution of the relevant design
parameters. Presented are measured distributions using
lens manufacturing data to better inform the decision-making process.

Techniques for Analyzing Lens Manufacturing Data

Optical designers assume a mathematically derived statistical distribution of the relevant design parameters. However, there may be significant differences between the assumed distributions and the likely outcomes from manufacturing. 

Rapid Optical Manufacturing of Hard Ceramic Windows and Domes

Hard ceramic conformal windows and domes provide challenges to the optical fabricator, due to the material hardness, polycrystalline nature, and non-traditional shape. Creative optical fabrication techniques, including VIBE™, help produce these types of optics cost-effectively

Cost Effective Fabrication Method for Large Sapphire Sensor Windows

Sapphire poses very difficult challenges to optical manufacturers due to its high hardness and anisotropic properties. These challenges can result in long lead times and high prices. Optimax is developing a high speed, cost effective process to produce such windows. 

Thermal instability of BK7 and how it affects the manufacturing of large high precision surfaces

When manufacturing precision optical surfaces of relatively larger sizes it is critical to understand the thermal stability of the substrate material. The material properties associated with thermal homogenization are commonly reviewed and soak schedules are created. 

Reduced cost and Improved Figure of Sapphire Optical Components

Optimax has developed a fabrication process that not only reduces cost but also aids in producing spherical sapphire components to better figure quality. 

Current use and potential of additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, has become widely used in recent years for the creation of both prototype and end-use parts. The flexibility is unparalleled and has opened the design space to enable features like undercuts and internal channels. 

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. 

Early Considerations to Aid Later Manufacturing

With so many types of optical components, there are many considerations early in the manufacturing process that can save resources

Magnetorheological Fluid Template Mechanical Chemical Effects

Optimax developed a new magnetorheological (MR) fluid for studying the relative contributions of mechanics and chemistry in polishing hard materials. 

Profit through predictability: The MRF difference at Optimax

In an effort to reduce variation and improve predictability, Optimax integrated magnetorheological finishing into its aspheric lens manufacturing process. 

Optical Systems: Transmissive high-energy laser optics

There are many decisions to make when designing, specifying, manufacturing, and testing optical components for high-energy laser systems — each is a potential failure mechanism that must be understood and controlled

Deterministic form correction of extreme freeform optical surfaces

Optimax has placed emphasis on refining the deterministic form correction process. By developing many of these procedures in house, changes can be implemented quickly and efficiently in order to rapidly converge on an optimal manufacturing method

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. 

Fabricating and Testing Freeform Optics

Freeform optical shapes or optical surfaces that are designed with non-symmetric features are gaining popularity with lens designers and optical system integrators. A common question about freeform optics is, “If I design it, can you really make it?”

Freeform optical manufacturing and testing processes for IR conformal window and dome

Complete freeform optical fabrication process that includes ultrasonic generation of hard ceramic surfaces, high speed VIBE polishing, sub-aperture figure correction of polycrystalline materials, finishing and final testing of freeform surfaces

Reduced cost and improved figure of sapphire optical components

Optimax’s sapphire production process achieves significant improvement in cost by the implementation of a controlled grinding process to present the best possible surface to the polishing equipment

Assembly Method Considerations for Cemented Assemblies

When cementing lenses together at Optimax, there are main options for assembly methods. Each method has its own benefits and challenges to be considered. 

Surface Irregularity

This paper will define surface irregularity for spherical surfaces, offer information on measurement methods for testing surface irregularities, and some specification guidelines

Radius Tolerancing

There are two main paths for tolerancing spherical radii: power tolerance and linear radius tolerance. Both measure change relative to a nominal value, but the metrology used is the key difference. 

The Cost of Tolerancing

The cost of lenses is strongly dependent on the difference between the specified tolerances and the limits of the optics manufacturer, the coater, and the metrologist. 

Shop Solutions: Grinding Optics On CNC Machining Centers

Three, four, and five-axis machining centers are used to grinding, polishing, and shaping the lenses with diamond tooling. Optimax now has five times more equipment and has added a third shift, increasing grinding and polishing productivity. 

Manufacturability study of CLEARCERAM® (T008) compared to other low CTE materials

CLEARCERAM® was developed in an attempt to reduce the thermal expansion and approach a true zero expansion material. This improves grinding and polishing rates by 39%

Better Polishing through Chemistry

Learning the chemical aspects of optical polishing can lead to better optics in less time.

Transmitted Wavefront Error Correction

Tolerancing optical lenses in transmission rather than reflection offers financial, performance and delivery advantages to a given class of aspheric optics. 

Vibe: A New Process for High Speed Polishing of Optical Elements

The concept for polishing optical elements with a process called VIBE is presented, application to non uniformly sloped optics such as aspheric shapes is detailed, and initial results on spherical surfaces are presented

Round Robin Testing of the Optimax Optidome

OptiDomes act as a standard for metrology testing of various testing methods for measuring the surface quality, mechanical attributes and/or the transmitted wave-front error of hemispherical/spherical domes.

Advances in ALON™ Optical Component Fabrication

Aluminum oxynitride (ALON™) spans from the UV to the IR and has excellent ballistic characteristics and is used to improve quality in manufacturing. 

Increased UV transmission by improving the manufacturing process for FS

With increasing demand for deep UV applications, special considerations must be taken to produce the optics. Specifically, as the wavelength of incident light decreases, the importance of smooth surfaces increases. 

Varying electro-kinetic interactions to achieve… on ZnS

A conventional study was conducted with infrared material zinc sulfide with the goal of producing defect-free polished surfaces in a predictable amount of time. 

VIBE™ finishing to remove mid-spatial frequency ripple

The VIBE™ process is a full aperture, conformal polishing process incorporating high frequency and random motion designed to rapidly remove sub-surface damage in a VIBE pre-polish step and eliminate mid-spatial frequency (MSF) errors in a VIBE finishing step.

R&D and the Optics Manufacturing Shop Floor

Historically, the R&D department and the optical manufacturing shop floor have been independent entities. Optimax has been able to integrate the two departments for faster deployment and practical utilization. 

VIBE™ Rapid Polishing Process to Smooth Optical Surfaces

The VIBE process is a full-aperture, conformal polishing process that uses high-frequency and random motion to rapidly remove sub-surface damage and eliminate mid-spatial-frequency surface errors.

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