Deep Space and Earth Observations Using Hyperbolic Optics

Topics Covered

Optical Surfaces’ Hyperbolic Optics
Specifications of Optical Surfaces’ Hyperboloids
Applications of Hyperboloids
About Optical Surfaces


Hyperboloids are applied in optical telescope systems where good off-axis performance is crucial. Building on its five decades of precision optics production expertise, Optical Surfaces has been recognized as the supplier of hyperbolic optics with the extremely tight tolerances and accuracy (Figure 1). Hyperboloids supplied by Optical Surfaces have been serving as the key component of many deep space and earth observation satellites, including ESA’s XMM and NigeriaSAT-2, the NASA swift explorer, and BNSC’s Top Sat.

Figure 1. Hyperbolic Optics with Extremely Tight Tolerances.

Optical Surfaces’ Hyperbolic Optics

Leveraging on its uniquely stable production environment and proprietary production techniques, Optical Surfaces is able to economically manufacture hyperbolic optics of up to 500mm diameter with a 10/5 surface finish, λ/20 P-V wavefront error, and less than 1.2nm RMS micro-roughness. Hyperbolic optics are available as mounted or mounted and with a coating optimized for specific customer applications. Optical Surfaces can produce hyperboloids with light-weighting options for applications where weight is a problem.

Optical Surfaces delivered the 2.5m resolution camera for use in Surrey satellites (SSTL) Nigerian space agencies satellite NigeriaSat-2. The company fabricated two 385mm, light weighted primary mirrors and two 142mm secondary mirrors. Both sets of mirrors had better than λ/20 P-V surface accuracy at 633nm and were matched collectively to ensure meeting all the demanding tolerances with regard to centering errors, conic constants, and focal lengths. Launched in August 2011, the images taken by the satellite reveal the remarkable high-resolution capability of the instruments.

Specifications of Optical Surfaces’ Hyperboloids

The following are the specifications of Optical Surfaces’ hyperboloids:

  • Surface quality: 10/5
  • Surface accuracy up to λ/20 P-V at 633nm
  • Up to 500mm diameter
  • Microroughness typically below 1.2nm RMS
  • Availability of a comprehensive range of coatings
  • Engineering and mounting service
  • Light-weighting options.

Applications of Hyperboloids

Hyperboloids are used in:

  • Wide field telescopes
  • Beam Expanders.

About Optical Surfaces

Optical Surfaces Ltd, has been producing optical components and systems for more than 30 years and is now accepted as one of Europe's leading manufacturers of high-precision optics. Our list of products include:

  • Etalons and Windows
  • Off-Axis Mirrors
  • Laser Beam Expanders
  • Collimators
  • Lenses and Prisms
  • Sphericals and Flat Mirrors
  • Mounted/Custom Optics.

The main workshops and test facilities are deep underground in a series of tunnels excavated in solid chalk where temperature remains constant and vibration is practically non-existent. With such stable conditions testing particularly with long path lengths become quantifiable and reliable.

Working with these natural advantages is a highly skilled team of craftsmen with a commitment to excellence in both product quality and customer service.

Interferometers routinely used include Zygo, Twyman Green, Scatterplate, Fizeau up to 600mm dia. Laser unequal path (LUPI) and point diffraction. They are able to test surface geometry, interfacing with our Wyko computer fringe analysis to confirm final wavefront.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Optical Surfaces.

For more information on this source, please visit Optical Surfaces.


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