Aspheric optics can pose as a challenge to the manufacturing community due to the surface shape and level of quality required. The aspheric surface may have inflection points that limit the usable tool size during manufacturing, or there may be a stringent tolerance on the slope for mid-spatial frequencies that may be problematic for sub-aperture finishing techniques to achieve. As aspheres become more commonplace in the optics community, requests for more complex aspheres have risen.
OptiPro Systems has been developing technologies to create a robust aspheric manufacturing process. Contour deterministic microgrinding is performed on a Pro80 or eSX platform. These platforms utilize software and the latest advancements in machine motion to accurately contour the aspheric shape. Then the optics are finished using UltraForm Finishing (UFF), which is a sub-aperture polishing process. This process has the capability to adjust the diameter and compliance of the polishing lap to allow for finishing over a wide range of shapes and conditions. Finally, the aspheric surfaces are qualified using an OptiTrace contact profilometer, or an UltraSurf non-contact 3D surface scanner. The OptiTrace uses a stylus to scan across the surface of the part, and the UltraSurf utilizes several different optical pens to scan the surface and generate a topographical map of the surface under test. This presentation will focus on the challenges for asphere manufacturing, how OptiPro has implemented its technologies to combat these challenges, and provide surface data for analysis.