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Proceedings Paper

Common Sense In Optical Specifications
Author(s): N. Balasubramanian; M. Hercher
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Paper Abstract

In designing optical systems, most designers at some point are con-fronted with the problem of specifying optical components that lie outside their area of expertise. The common practice in these circumstances has been to specify the "best" (i.e. most expensive) component. This attitude often leads to consid-erable waste of time, effort and money. We illustrate our point of view by considering in detail many of the common examples of unduely stringent and often inconsistent specifications for optical components. Some of the examples are: Specification of 1/200th wave flat mirrors for Fabry-Perot interferometers without consideration to other limiting deformities caused by coating, mounting, etc. Specifications calling for bulky prism systems (usually made of high quality quartz) when inexpensive mirrors could do the same job. Specification of interferometric quality glass for optical windows with quarter-wave flatness and parallelism, when selected float - glass could be used at much reduced cost. Specification of an expensive laser collimator and spatial filter for use in holography, when $50 worth of surplus optics plus a pinhole would do as well. Specification of a high degree of mechanical parallelism between faces of optical components without consideration of optical parallelism (as in large discs of laser glass). The discussion presented also includes a number of techniques in design and specification of optical components which can ultimately result in improved cost effectiveness.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 1974
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 0054, Effective Systems Integration and Optical Design I, (1 March 1974); doi: 10.1117/12.954224
Show Author Affiliations
N. Balasubramanian, University of Rochester (United States)
M. Hercher, University of Rochester (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0054:
Effective Systems Integration and Optical Design I
Gary W. Wilkerson; Robert Poindexter, Editor(s)

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