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Axicon Centering Station

Axicon Centering Station

OPG has stopped offering a centering station using a rotary table to establish an axis in space to which to align optical system. Rather we now offer a centering station that uses an Axicon grating to create the axis.

NEW Instructions for Using CaliBall


Using the CaliBallTM to calibrate interferometer transmission or reference spheres using the random ball test is almost fool proof.

However, observing a few simple precautions will improve the results of the calibration.

April 2017 Newsletter

As I explained two months ago about the licensing agreement with Trioptics-USA to manufacture and sell the Point Source Microscope (PSM) and MicroFinish Topographer (MFT), this gives me time to develop new applications for both instruments and to consult on applying those applications. I am pleased to say that the applications spawned by customer inquiries and my own curiosity have led to four papers that will be presented this summer and fall. See the March Newsletter for the venues, titles and abstracts of the papers.

February 2017 Newsletter

As many of you know, and perhaps wondered why, Optical Perspectives Group (OPG) has exclusively licensed the sale and manufacture of the Point Source Microscope (PSM) and MicroFinish Topographer (MFT) to Davidson Optronics, a division of Trioptics-USA.

Why is optical alignment so important to optical system performance?

The main reason is that the other two major factors in performance, optical design and optical fabrication, have already been improved to the very limits of what can be accomplished. After spending good money on a near perfect design and fabrication of optical components does it make any sense not to assemble them in perfect alignment?

Case Studies & Testimonials

  • How small can the PSM be used for centering on a cylindrical axis?

    The PSM is an ideal tool for finding the center of curvature of a ball or the axis of a cylinder. The question is for how small a ball or cylinder can the PSM do this?

    The smallest article that was readily available was a piece of monofilament 8 pound test fishing line that was 290 μm in diameter. There was no problem finding the axis of the fishline, and separating the Cat’s eye reflection from the surface from the confocal reflection of the axis. The experiment was done with a 5x objective, and the result would have been even more definitive using a 10x objective.

  • Why is proper alignment so important?

    Here is a case of a very happy customer due to better optics.

    A few days ago an astronomer friend of mine commented that he had gotten the optics of his telescope improved and the improvement reduced the time it took to get data by a factor of 3. For an astronomer this is a dramatic improvement since observing time on large telescopes can cost thousands of dollars an hour.

    My friend did not say how the optics had been improved, but the important point is that better optics, whether due to figure errors, mounting or alignment mean more productive optics. I generally think of better optics as a better product leaving the manufacturing facility without thinking about how much the better optics mean to the productivity of the customer.