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This chapter looks at three different applications of the optomechanical constraint equations to solve nettlesome problems in optomechanical system design, analysis, and manufacture. The first application discusses an optical image correlator that had been designed optically to use commercially available optical elements but had run into trouble during brassboard development. The optomechanical constraint equations were used to determine the sensitivity of the correlator’s performance to all of the dimensional and thermal variables in the system and to maximize the correlator’s performance and minimize the assembly and test labor required for manufacture.
The second application discusses a fiber optic spread-spectrum encoder system for fiber optic communication security that demonstrated 60% transmission loss during environmental tests. A maximum to 10% loss was allowable. The optomechanical constraint equations modeled the opticalstructural-thermal behavior versus the transmission efficiency, η, of the system. The model identified the principal contributors to the losses and identified design changes that brought the system into acceptable performance.
The final application discusses a suite of instruments mounted on an airborne two-axis gimbal set with strict boresight and line-of-sight requirements. The optomechanical constraint equations were incorporated into a Nastran finite element model of the imager, the laser, and the laser receiver in the gimbal. The engineer used the Nastran model to guide the initial structural CAD design of the gimbal and achieve the required dynamic pointing stability for the system.
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