San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, California, United States
1 - 5 August 2021
Conference OP303
Optomechanical Engineering 2021
Conference Committee
Important Dates
Abstract Due:
3 February 2021
Post-Deadline Submissions are Currently Being Accepted.

Author Notification:
5 April 2021

Manuscript Due Date:
7 July 2021

Additional Conference Information
Call for
The International Technical Group on Optomechanical Engineering is organizing its’ biennial conference for designers, engineers, and scientists who conceive, design, analyze, and construct optical instruments and other precision devices. This conference will present leading-edge technology and advances in current trends that make products viable and valuable (whether the quantities are individual or mass-produced). Also, mature and tested concepts for existing technologies will be presented as well as novel concepts that are still in development. Specific areas of interest include the following areas.

Novel Optomechanical Designs
The mounting of lenses, mirrors, windows, domes, gratings, prisms, detectors, diodes, fibers, filters, retarders, etc. and the design of optical benches, metering structures, enclosures, and system packaging is a critical aspect in the design of an optical system. This includes but is not limited to: microscopes, cameras, telescopes, binoculars, projectors, lasers, spectroscopes, and interferometers. There is also interest in off-axis and broad-band/multispectral systems, particularly on folding and splitting the optical path to serve multiple sensors.

Lightweight & Stiff Optical Systems
In this area, there is emphasis on balancing the often competing requirements to produce lightweight and dynamically stable optical systems. This includes applications of high-performance materials (beryllium, silicon carbide, silicon, metal matrix composites, carbon-fiber composites, etc.) and details on their properties such as fracture toughness, micro-yield, CTE, and fatigue. The Conference has interest in designing, modeling, analyzing, and characterizing their performance for optical systems and support structures. Lastly, the fabrication and assembly methods for these materials can often provide significant advances, particularly if high yields can be achieved at an affordable cost.

Environmental Resistance
The design of environmentally robust optical systems requires an attention to detail. Particular areas of interest for the Conference are:
  • Athermalization: The design of components, systems, and instruments to resist changes or effects from changes in the thermal environment.
  • Shock and Vibration Resistance: The design of instruments to operate in high acceleration environments and/or to maintain alignment after launch environments.
  • Gravitational Insensitivity: The design of instruments and systems to resist the influences of a changing gravitational vector (changing in both amplitude and direction)
  • Aero-Heating and Friction Analysis: This includes mitigation-modeling and simulation of thermal gradients, the performance degradation of sensors and systems, and the design techniques to mitigate the adverse effects of aero-heating under high dynamic conditions. In these environments, high-temperature and high-velocity flows of compressible fluids (air, methane and exhaust gasses) can have significant impact on systems. Also, the material selection and deployment mechanisms for aero-heating shields for these applications.
  • Natural and Nuclear Radiation Resistance: Radiation hard optics materials for prompt and total doses, shielding and circumvention techniques, radiation dose simulation, and modeling techniques
  • High-Pressure Environments: The design, analysis, and system impact of high hydraulic-type pressures that occur with some oceanographic and naval applications.
Optical Structures and Supports
This category focuses on the design, analysis, and testing of structures for optical instruments. Areas include stable structures for telescopes, interferometers, spectrometers, coronagraphs, and similar instruments including large terrestrial systems and proposed space instruments. Adjustable structures for systems and their instruments are often needed to dynamically adapt to environmental and functional changes. Particularly, maintaining the metrology frame beyond the normal limits of stability for the basic structure is important. For portable applications, advances in lightweight structures are needed, particularly for aircraft systems and spacecraft. Lastly, innovative applications of materials, singly or in combination, to achieve stiffness and pointing stability with low-mass structures is of high interest to the Conference.

Optomechanical Analysis
The use of analytical solutions, models, simulations, and numerical optimization techniques to analyze and optimize optomechanical designs is mandatory in challenging applications. The intersection between lightweight mirrors, lenses, flexures, optical mounts, adhesives, and metering structures is ripe for advancements. Design optimization techniques and methods that include component and system functional performance analysis are needed. Advanced concepts in the intersection between optical and mechanical engineering are highly welcomed, such as line-of-sight jitter prediction, wavefront error, surface deformation and relaxation, thermo-optical performance, and analysis of stress birefringence

Integrated and multi-disciplinary modeling for evaluating the impact of other disciplines (thermal, structures, controls, aerodynamics etc.) on optical system performance
Many groups have participated in the multidisciplinary evaluation of optical systems using a variety of tools. This conference offers engineers an opportunity to present the results of applying their preferred techniques to real design challenges, describe the quality of the results and compare them to test data.
  • STOP models: structural, thermal, optical performance models
  • coupling of control system algorithms for precision pointing of optical systems in dynamic environments
  • effects of aerodynamic flow fields on optical system pointing and wavefront error
  • numerical optimization techniques to explore optomechanical design solutions.
Compact systems and components
The design of optical systems to fit into uniquely-shaped and/or compact spaces is of interest to many industries. Particular research areas of interest are:
  • Fiber Systems: the design, mounting, and alignment of couplings, dividers, multiplexers
  • Seeker Heads: the design of compact optics for various search, acquisition and tracking applications including Homeland Defense, missile guidance, baggage screening, battlefield surveillance
  • Applications of Lenslets: the design and manufacture of lenslets, their mounting and positioning methods, and their application in components and systems
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality Systems: the design of heads-up displays and head-mounted displays presents unique challenges for optomechanical engineers.
  • Miniaturizing Devices: components which integrate optomechanical functionality with sensing, control, feedback, and device health monitoring are needed, particularly for steering mirrors, focus mechanisms, alignment devices, and stabilizing gimbals.
Novel Manufacturing, Assembly, and Integration Techniques
The optomechanical engineer's art as applied to the manufacturing, assembly, and integration processes. These techniques are the so-called design for manufacturing, design for assembly, and design for testing. Research into strengthening the ties between these sub-disciplines for integrated optimization. Applications of additive manufacturing and 3D printing technologies, particularly where fiducials, alignment features, and novel component mounting is addressed. Always of important is troubleshooting and diagnostics, understanding repair methods for components, assemblies, and systems, as well as disassembly techniques for "permanently assembled" parts. Lastly, the Conference welcomes practical case-studies in the areas of fabrication, mounting, assembly, integration, and alignment.

Design Validation
Mechanical testing of optical instruments to validate their design requires innovative methods to ensure design specifications are met. Areas include methods for simulating zero gravity for large instruments, optical performance measurement in high-G environments, and high- and low-temperature tests of optical materials, mounts, systems, and instruments.

Integrated Alignment Mechanisms
The challenges of supplying the necessary alignment degrees of freedom for both factory alignment and operational adjustments such as temperature and pressure focus corrections and boresight shifts. Particularly, in-service correction of focus shifts from pressure and temperature changes, automatic or built-in optical boresight adjustment, and minimizing the factory alignment time are of interest. Also, areas which combine novel fabrication techniques that aid in assembly and alignment steps are ripe for exploration.

Extremely Delicate Component Handling
The design of ultra-lightweight mirrors, fabrication and mounting of very thin mirrors and lenses, mounting of very soft optical materials all present unique challenges. Materials such as calcium fluoride for lenses, prisms, and windows present novel optical opprotunties but pose signification risk for challenging environments. Likely, large meniscus lenses and components with large-aspect ratios and difficult shapes present mounting, alignment, and survivability challenges.

Optomechanical Affordability, Reliability, and Mission Assurance
Applying systems engineering (SE) tools and approaches to the design, development, and construction of optical systems with large optomechanical engineering components. Often, these systems are multi-year endeavors with considerable risk that must be understood and managed. Understanding the safety factor for designs near material survivability limits, designing novel system architectures that are inherently more robust and/or cost effective, and the development of simulation methods to better understand programmatic approaches integrating design, manufacture, assembly, alignment, and testing with large scale project management issues like procurement and logistical challenges.

This Conference offers designers, researchers, engineers, and scientists an opportunity to be rewarded for their professional accomplishments with the recognition of their peers in the community who can best understand and appreciate their art. All are encouraged to participate and benefit from the presentations and discussions that ensue.
Conference Committee
Conference Chairs
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