The Moscone Center
San Francisco, California, United States
1 - 6 February 2020
Course (SC010)
Introduction to Optical Alignment Techniques
Tuesday 4 February 2020
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Member Price $685.00
Non-Member Price $805.00
Student Member Price $397.00
  • Course Level:
  • Introductory
  • CEU:
  • 0.7
This course discusses the equipment, techniques, tricks, and skills necessary to align optical systems and devices. You learn to identify errors in an optical system, and how to align lens systems.
Learning Outcomes
  • determine if errors in the optical system are due to misalignment errors or other factors such as fabrication, design, or mounting problems
  • recognize and understand the fundamental imaging errors associated with optical systems
  • diagnose (qualitatively and quantitively) what is wrong with an optical system by simply observing these fundamental imaging errors
  • use the variety of tools available for aligning optical systems, and more importantly, how to "tweak" logically the adjustments on these devices so that the alignment proceeds quickly and efficiently
  • align basic lens systems and telescopes
  • align more complex optical systems such as those containing off-axis aspheric surfaces, and maintain alignment using automatic mounting techniques
This course is directed toward engineers and technicians needing basic practical information and techniques to achieve alignment of simple optical systems, as well as seemingly more complicated off-axis aspheric mirrors. To benefit most from this course you will need a basic knowledge of the elementary properties of lenses and optical systems (i.e. focal lengths, f/numbers, magnification, and other imaging properties) and a working knowledge of simple interferometry. Some familiarity with the basic aberrations such as spherical aberration, coma, and astigmatism will be helpful.
About the
Kenneth R. Castle Ph.D. is president of Ruda-Cardinal, Inc., an optical engineering consulting firm located in Tucson, Arizona. Ken has worked with Mitch Ruda, the originator of this course, for 28 years. Mitch passed away August 31, 2013, and Ruda-Cardinal is continuing the tradition of this course in his memory.
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