Meet the Team: Jeff Snopkowski, Manufacturing Engineering Manager

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.

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Topics: Meet the Team, Engineering & Design

Introducing RPO’s CMOS Night Observation Device: 8 Advantages over Existing Technologies in the Field

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.

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Topics: CNOD

Molding Hybrid Diffractive IR & Plastic Lenses: More Power, Less Glass

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.

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Topics: Infrared, Molded Optics

Optical Supply Chain Partners: Survey Results

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.

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Topics: Precision Optics, Supply Chain

Meet the Team: Q&A with Ray Schmitt, Supply Chain Manager, on turnaround and quality

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.

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Topics: Supply Chain

RPO Wins Phase 2 STTR Grant for Chalcogenide Glass Mid-IR

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.

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Topics: Blog

Meet the Team: Q&A with Rick Bryant, Director of Advanced Programs, on the future of night vision

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.

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Topics: Blog

Investing for Your Optical System Innovations

2016 has brought about a lot of change at RPO. We’re pleased to welcome RPO’s new president, Dane Hileman, a sure sign of the investments we are making in people, processes, and technologies to scale from prototype to production of optical components and optical assemblies for our customers.

What’s new? Currently, we are:

  • Investing in automation to focus on cultivating high-value technical talent
  • Tripling capacity in precision plastic optics – taking on the difficult military applications like prisms and consumer electronics/VR applications that require bi-aspheres and fresnels
  • Adding cleanroom capacity—15,000 sq. ft of class 10,000, down to class 100 capable
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Topics: Blog

CNOD featured in Law Enforcement Technology

RPO’s CNOD System is featured in the latest Law Enforcement Technology and Law Enforcement Product News. Because of its true facial identification capability, the CNOD offers superior enhanced performance for SWAT and police departments.

CNOD, CMOS Night Observation Device, enables operators to see in bright sun and low light by combining high definition sight with high contrast and high resolution in a single device. The device is neither an image intensification system nor a thermal CNODproduct announcementsystem; it is a digital system. CNOD can be deployed in three ways: as a hand held monocular, as a clip-on, in-line weapon sight for use with your day scope or as a stand-alone weapon sight with reticle of choice. Because of its multi-functionality, the CNOD system is unmatched in regards to digital, image intensified night vision and thermal sights in the current market.

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Topics: Blog


Welcome to the Rochester Precision Optics blog. Our optical engineering and lens design team will post regularly with guidance and tips to improve optical system performance and manufacturability. We’ll also share emerging technology and applications in security, life sciences, medical devices, and imaging.

Check back for:

  • Ask the engineer
  • Optical system case studies
  • Precision asphere design and manufacturing tips
  • Electro optical assembly tips

Our engineering and manufacturing staff work collaboratively with customers on designs ranging from thermal imaging systems to virtual reality to DNA sequencing. While much of our work is proprietary and confidential, our blog will be used to share techniques and considerations for issues like lightweighting of optical systems, design for manufacturability, and optical system design approaches to cost-effectively scale from prototype to high volume production.

Your ideas and questions are important to us! Please comment or email us at with any input.

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Topics: Blog