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Chapter 2:
The Optic-to-Mount Interface
The prime purpose of the optic-to-mount interface is to hold the component (lens, window, filter, shell, prism, or mirror) in its proper position and orientation within the optical instrument throughout its useful life, including storage and shipping. This implies the presence of mechanical constraints, i.e., external forces that limit component motion—even when the temperature changes or when external mechanical disturbances occur. The importance of these constraints, the advantages of semikinematic-type mounting techniques, and the alternatives used when that technique is not appropriate are considered here. We concentrate first on rotationally symmetric optics such as lenses and mirrors and then introduce the reader to typical interfaces for prisms and larger mirrors. This chapter concludes with considerations of ways to seal the optic-to-mount interface so as to maintain a favorable environment within the instrument.
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