An interview with Rick Bryant of RPO and Andres Cifuentes of ASE Optics Europe
The options for rapid prototyping of optics and assemblies are expanding across the board. With advances in diamond turning of chalcogenides, small runs of even IR optics are becoming faster and more affordable.
In optics, manufacturability is heavily dependent on product design and material selection. Whether a product has a complex or simple design, the material used to create the lens will determine performance, cost, volume and several other factors. With a variety of materials and manufacturing methods available, how does a company determine the material that will provide the best outcome?
Last month, RPO's Director of Business Development and Marketing Adam Dunn attended AUVSI XPONENTIAL in Dallas, Texas. The conference and exhibit, the largest of its kind for unmanned technology, offered insight on the role optics is playing in this rapidly developing industry.
With rapid growth in thermal imaging and infrared technology, optics manufacturers continue to advance their products in an effort to keep up with high demanding markets, including night vision devices. Wearable night vision devices such as enhanced night visions goggles (ENVG), which use thermal imaging in their design, continuously improve in performance as technology evolves quickly. Helmet mounted goggles, cameras and other thermal devices have been at the forefront of the market, but night vision goggles are predicted to be the application to watch as the market progresses.
2x growth in Canada from 2014-2020
5x growth in Mexico
3x growth in South America
$9 billion by 2020 – Night vision camera market
The first week of January, the RPO team joined almost 200,000 people in Las Vegas to scope out the technology trends that are expected to impact the optics industry.
Optical system advances drive possibilities in new markets.
Advances in IR optics have opened up new doors for night vision commercial applications. While military and defense continue to make up nearly 45% of the market, night vision is becoming a viable choice for:
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.