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Proceedings Paper

Refractive beam steering
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Paper Abstract

A number of concepts using the principle of the refraction of light have been developed to steer light beams. Refractive beam steering concepts involve the use of optical wedges in order to deviate a light beam. This principle is ideally suited for steering laser light since dispersion is minimal due to the monochromatic nature of the laser. The methods used to form the optical wedge and the means developed to adjust it are what distinguish the various concepts and have resulted in many patents over the years for their innovators. A new concept called a Lubricated Adjustable Optical Wedge (LAOW) has been recently developed that does not require complicated mechanical systems to form the wedge and provide the adjustment necessary to deviate the light beam. An optical wedge is formed using plano-convex and plano-concave lenses that are contacted together using a thin film of transparent index matching lubricant between the spherical surfaces. The forces of capillary action and surface tension provide the sole means of keeping the lens elements together. This technique has demonstrated a repeatability ≤±0.12 arc seconds in beam deviation angle.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 September 2004
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5528, Space Systems Engineering and Optical Alignment Mechanisms, (30 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.559865
Show Author Affiliations
Roland E. Juhala, MetaStable Instruments, Inc. (United States)
George Dube, MetaStable Instruments, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5528:
Space Systems Engineering and Optical Alignment Mechanisms
Lee D. Peterson; Robert C. Guyer, Editor(s)

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