Centering with the PSM (ABSTRACT)

ABSTRACT: Desribes step-by-step how to calculate the locations of the centers of curvature of optical elements to be centered, and how to set up one or two PSM's to center the lenses as they are assembled on a rotary table. Also discussed are practical issues relating to the hardware, and calculation of sensitivites to alignment.

Conjugate Selection for Precision Lens Centering (ABSTRACT)

ABSTRACT: The concept of centering a precision, symmetric lens system using a high-quality rotary table and an auto-focusing test instrument are well known. Less well known are methods of finding convenient, or easily accessible, lens conjugates on which to focus while performing the centering operation. We introduce methods of finding suitable conjugates and centering configurations that lend themselves to practical centering solutions.

Lens Centering Using the Point Source Microscope (ABSTRACT)

ABSTRACT: Precision lens centering is necessary to obtain the maximum performance from a centered lens system. A technique to achieve precision centering is presented that incorporates the simultaneous viewing through the upper lens surface of the centers of curvature of each element as it is assembled in a lens barrel. This permits the alignment of the optical axis of each element on the axis of a precision rotary table which is taken as the axis of the assembly.

Practical Alignment Using an Autostigmatic Microscope (ABSTRACT)

ABSTRACT: This paper defines optical alignment as placing optical conjugates and centers of curvature at the precise locations specified in the optical design. Auto-stigmatic microscopes (ASM) are the tools used to measure the offset between the optical conjugates and physical datums such as centers of balls and axes of cylinders in alignment fixtures and making precise alignment practical.

Case Studies & Testimonials

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.