Fabrication of Freeform Optics

Freeform surfaces on optical components have become an important design tool for optical designers. Non-rotationally symmetric optical surfaces have made solving complex optical problems easier. The manufacturing and testing of these surfaces has been the technical hurdle in freeform optic’s wide-spread use. Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) optics manufacturing technology has made the fabrication of optical components more deterministic and streamlined for traditional optics and aspheres. Optimax has developed a robust freeform optical fabrication CNC process that includes generation, high speed VIBE polishing, sub-aperture figure correction, surface smoothing and testing of freeform surfaces. Metrology of freeform surface is currently achieved with coordinate measurement machines (CMM) for lower resolution and interferometry with computer generated holograms (CGH) for high resolution irregularity measurements.

Posted in: White Papers, Imaging, Optics, Photonics, Test & Measurement
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Optical Fiber Sensors vs. Conventional Electrical Strain Gauges for Infrastructure Monitoring Applications

Public infrastructure, including bridges, pipelines, tunnels, foundations, roadways, dams, etc., is subject to factors that can degrade it or lead to malfunctions. These structural problems can be the result of deterioration, improper construction methods, seismic activity, nearby construction work, etc. Although electrical strain gauges have long been used for monitoring structural changes, they sometimes lack the durability and integrity necessary to provide accurate, actionable information over extended periods. The applications in this white paper demonstrate how optical fiber sensors can offer a variety of economic and performance advantages.

Posted in: White Papers, Fiber Optics, Optics, Sensors
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Polymeric Systems Bring Clarity to Optical Applications

Whereas some optical assembly applications require optical clarity across a certain wavelenth, others require an opaque coating. Optical grade epoxies, silicones and UV curable coatings provide the versatility to adhere well to a wide variety of substrates and the critical performance properties necessary. Learn more about optical transmission, refractive indices, temperature and humidity testing, and more, and the roles these measurements in choosing an effective and reliable optical polymer system.

Posted in: White Papers, Photonics
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Integrating Novel Materials to Improve Medical Device Performance

Today’s implantables are highly engineered assemblies with multiple complex elements that require innovative materials and sophisticated manufacturing. The development and use of new and novel materials and processes has enabled advances in both medical device performance and patient safety. Whether it’s a lighter material, a smoother surface, or a process that can be automated and repeatable, advanced technologies such as scratch-free surfaces or specialized coatings for stimulation can help extend or improve the life of implantable devices.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Bio-Medical, Medical, Lasers & Laser Systems, Photonics
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DIGITAL PATHOLOGY: A Primer for Microscope Camera Selection

Most pathologists today use digital systems within their practices and research projects to communicate, store data, and analyze images. Whether it’s within clinical, forensic, surgical, or other branches of pathology, communication and consultation among specialists is greatly improved by the use of digital systems and enables faster diagnosis for patients.

Posted in: White Papers, Imaging, Medical, Optics, Photonics
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Acrylate-Based Specialty Optical Fiber Coatings for Harsh Environments

Applications of optical fibers at high temperatures and in harsh environments demand coatings sustainable under those conditions. The goal of this work was to evaluate thermal and environmental stability of a series of commercially available and in-house formulated acrylate-based coatings. Dual and single-coat fiber designs were tested. The individual formulations included non-urethane and urethane acrylates, silicone acrylates and an organic-inorganic hybrid acrylate. The “as drawn” fibers were tested for attenuation, mechanical reliability, microbend sensitivity, delamination resistance and coating stripability. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was used for estimating the use temperature of the coatings. In addition, the fibers were exposed to harsh environments, including dry aging in air (150°C) and in nitrogen (250°C), autoclaving, immersion in high pressure/temperature water (up to 200°C and 2000 psi) and immersion in a hot cable gel (160°C). Based on the obtained results, the best formulations were ranked for suitability in different types of fiber application.

Posted in: White Papers, Aeronautics, Defense, Optics, Photonics
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Boosting Machine Vision with Built-in FPGA Image Preprocessing

Since imaging processing tasks can consume major CPU resources in machine vision applications, increasing processing performance within size constraints is, accordingly, a common challenge for solution providers. The following discusses the efficacy of FPGA in addressing such performance shortcomings, presents the image processing tasks most suitable for FPGA, and compares the capabilities of CPU and FPGA in operation. A built -in FPGA image preprocessing solution supporting machine vision app lications is then presented.

Posted in: White Papers, Imaging, Optics, Photonics, Automation, Robotics
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How the Laser, Optic, & Photonic Industries Benefit from Electropolishing

Improve precision and cleanliness with an enhanced surface finish.

Like other industries that utilize electropolishing to finish metal components, there are many benefits associated with electropolishing metal components used in photonics, optics or laser applications.

Posted in: White Papers, Coatings & Adhesives, Materials, Medical, Optics, Photonics
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Using UV LEDs to Cure Fiber Optic Cables

UV spot curing systems have been used in assembly processes for over 30 years. Historically, mercury arc lamps have been the curing source however, LED technology has recently advanced to where it provides a valuable solution for UV curing.

Posted in: White Papers, Optics, Photonics
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Fiber Optic Rotary Joints Add a Spin to Sensing, Mobile, and Robotic Fiber Systems

To the passing optical signals, fiberoptic rotary joints (FORJs) are nothing more than fiber connectors, which provide connection between one or multiple fibers. Their unrestricted ability to rotate, however, gives them a critical role in many sensing, mobile, and robotic fiber systems such as ROVs (remotely operated vehicles), aerostat radars, submarines, satellite antennae, OCT (optical coherence tomography), mining vehicles, cranes, wind turbines, robotic vehicles, broadcasting (mobile cameras), etc. This article discusses some of the applications where optical rotary joints are indispensable.

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Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Photonics
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