When the chance to join the RPO team came around, Mike Davenport jumped at taking it. A problem solver by nature, Mike knew the challenge-driven mentality of RPO was the right place for him. His interest in optics comes from the complexity of the industry. "Every project involves a lot of theory, a lot of engineering, and a lot of mechanical common sense," he explained.
Night vision technology has been a critical component of the defense industry since World War II. The demand for newer and better instruments has only increased. To address this growing need, RPO has developed a new, alternate approach to night vision technology that avoids the inherent technical limitations of older technologies. RPO’s new product is called CNOD (CMOS Night Observation Device). To understand why CNOD beats existing technology requires explaining what that technology is. Two technologies have dominated the night vision field: image intensifiers and thermal imagers.
Topics: Night Vision Technology
Quality. Quantity. Cost. In precision manufacturing, the consensus is that you can improve two out of three. You can’t get “more stuff that works better but costs less.”
Jeff Snopkowski joined the Rochester Precision Optics team in April 2015 after 8 years with another optics company. When he heard about the open position at RPO, he was excited about the opportunity to join a company that was poised for growth. We spoke with Jeff about how he’s improving manufacturing processes at RPO and what customers can expect.
RPO’s new commercial device, CMOS Night Observation Device (CNOD), is a hand-held night vision sight with the revolutionary capability of daylight operation. CNOD leaps past existing night-vision technologies to meet the demands of field use. The CNOD is proof of RPO’s two core competencies—optical system design and precision-molded plastic optics—which pay off in market-leading image clarity and light weight.
A hybrid diffractive lens is a refractive optical element with a custom-designed diffraction profile encoded onto one surface. Such a hybrid literally combines the power of refraction and diffraction; as such, a single hybrid lens can replace two or more refractive lenses, especially when utilizing aspheric surfaces. Furthermore, because diffractive surfaces have “negative optical dispersion,” a hybrid lens can make an excellent single-element achromat(*). This technique of combining multiple lenses into single hybrid lenses enables optical designers to reduce the overall mass, volume, and material cost of an optical system.
Tier 1, 2 and 3 manufacturers in industries as diverse as military, consumer electronics and aerospace are increasingly focused on management of supply chain risk. As an optical lens, optical component and assembly manufacturer, Rochester Precision Optics is working with market leaders to manage their risk while reducing their total system cost.
Ray Schmitt joined Rochester Precision Optics as Supply Chain Manager after 25 years in all aspects of manufacturing including Operations Management, Supply Chain, Quality Systems, Sales, Information Technology and Production in polymer optics. Ray is working with customers and vendors to ensure a robust supply chain that exceeds customer expectations.
Topics: Supply Chain
RPO has been awarded a grant from the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) to pursue chalcogenide glass IR optic development for quantum cascade lasers.
RPO, after successful completion of Phase 1 STTR, seeks to develop a fast axis collimating lens for quantum cascade lasers (QCL), which are tunable to emit in the full infrared range. Because primary applications are wide, the lenses must withstand the stress of both continuous wave and pulsed laser emission. Lenses for this application are not known to currently exist, making RPO first in the industry to achieve a working prototype.
Rick Bryant joined Rochester Precision Optics in 2013 after his service in the United States Marine Corps and nearly 20 years as the Director of Visual Augmentation Systems for Naval Special Warfare Development Group. Rick, in collaboration with our VP of Engineering Bob Benson, has been integral to the development and launch of RPO’s CNOD CMOS system and the direction of our night vision R&D. In addition to his R&D leadership, Rick has also led fielding, logistics, and other responsibilities that come with heading advanced programs.