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Proceedings Paper

Freeform optical manufacturing and testing processes for IR conformal window and domes
Author(s): Kate Medicus; Jessica DeGroote Nelson; Timothy Lynch; Matt Brunelle; Matthew Brophy
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Paper Abstract

Freeform optical shapes or optical surfaces that are designed with non-symmetric features are gaining popularity with lens designers and optical system integrators. This enabling technology allows for conformal sensor windows and domes that provide enhanced aerodynamic properties as well as environmental and ballistic protection. In order to provide ballistic and environmental protection, these conformal windows and domes are typically fabricated from hard ceramic materials which challenge the optical fabricator. The material hardness, polycrystalline nature and non-traditional shape demand creative optical fabrication techniques to produce these types of optics cost-effectively. This paper will overview a complete freeform optical fabrication process that includes ultrasonic generation of hard ceramic surfaces, high speed VIBE polishing, sub-aperture figure correction of polycrystalline materials, finishing and final testing of freeform surfaces. This paper will highlight the progress made to each of the processes as well as the challenges associated with each of them specifically focusing on the use of fiducials in the manufacturing and measurement process and the adaptation of stitching interferometry to the measurement of a freeform conformal window.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 May 2015
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9453, Window and Dome Technologies and Materials XIV, 94530E (22 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2177279
Show Author Affiliations
Kate Medicus, Optimax Systems, Inc. (United States)
Jessica DeGroote Nelson, Optimax Systems, Inc. (United States)
Timothy Lynch, Optimax Systems, Inc. (United States)
Matt Brunelle, Optimax Systems, Inc. (United States)
Matthew Brophy, Optimax Systems, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9453:
Window and Dome Technologies and Materials XIV
Brian J. Zelinski; Randal W. Tustison, Editor(s)

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