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11 October 2015 Strategies for active alignment of lenses
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Proceedings Volume 9633, Optifab 2015; 963314 (2015)
Event: SPIE Optifab, 2015, Rochester, New York, United States
Today's optical systems require up-to-date assembly and joining technology. The trend of keeping dimensions as small as possible while maintaining or increasing optical imaging performance leaves little to no room for mechanical lens adjustment equipment that may remain in the final product. In this context active alignment of optical elements opens up possibilities for the fast and cost-economic manufacturing of lenses and lens assemblies with highest optical performance.

Active alignment for lens manufacturing is the precise alignment of the optical axis of a lens with respect to an optical or mechanical reference axis (e.g. housing) including subsequent fixation by glue. In this contribution we will describe different approaches for active alignment and outline strengths and limitations of the different methods. Using the SmartAlign principle, highest quality cemented lenses can be manufactured without the need for high precision prealignment, while the reduction to a single alignment step greatly reduces the cycle time. The same strategies can also be applied to bonding processes. Lenses and lens groups can be aligned to both mechanical and optical axes to maximize the optical performance of a given assembly. In hybrid assemblies using both mechanical tolerances and active alignment, SmartAlign can be used to align critical lens elements anywhere inside the system for optimized total performance. Since all geometrical parameters are re-measured before each alignment, this process is especially suited for complex and time-consuming production processes where the stability of the reference axis would otherwise be critical. For highest performance, lenses can be actively aligned using up to five degrees of freedom. In this way, SmartAlign enables the production of ultra-precise mounted lenses with an alignment precision below 1 μm.
© (2015) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Patrik Langehanenberg, Josef Heinisch, Chrisitan Wilde, Felix Hahne, and Bernd Lüerß "Strategies for active alignment of lenses", Proc. SPIE 9633, Optifab 2015, 963314 (11 October 2015);


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