C-mount Xenoplan and Cinegon lenses
Schneider Optics
Van Nuys, CA

Schneider Optics’ C-mount Xenoplan and Cinegon lenses were selected by NASA to monitor aspects of the recent Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission. During the rendezvous between the shuttle Atlantis and the Hubble Space Telescope, and thereafter — while seven astronauts replaced six gyroscopes, batteries, and a sensor used to guide the telescope — the lenses were the “eyes” of the cameras that delivered high-resolution images to the shuttle and to engineers on Earth.

Mounted in the shuttle’s payload bay, the three lenses were able to survive the severe conditions encountered during launch, without the need for modifications. On Earth, the lenses are typically used for 3D measurements in scientific and industrial applications, including advanced robotic vision, machine vision, metrology, and visual inspection systems where high reliability and precision are essential. The Xenoplan and Cinegon compact C-mount lenses feature precision irises with a locking mechanism. This improves control of grey-scale calibration and F-stops, and provides a wide magnification range. A focus mechanism enables very fine focus adjustment and locking without backlash, and a broad range of filters can be accommodated.

The Hubble Space Telescope service program is not the first time NASA has chosen Schneider lenses. In 2006, during NASA’s successful STS-121 mission, the Space Shuttle Discovery utilized a Xenoplan Compact C-Mount lens on its orbital inspection boom HD camera to scan the orbiter’s exterior for damage while in orbit.

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NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the September, 2009 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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