ASE Optics’ Engineering Techniques Improve Performance in Aerial Applications

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ASE Optics' lens system design was recently put to the test in imaging the Hudson River Valley flood damage. Christopher Cotton, General Manager of ASE Optics, an optical engineering services firm, discusses techniques to improve the performance of imaging systems in aerial applications like natural disaster response.

ASE Optics optical design for aerial applications

ASE Optics optical design for aerial applications

Our lens assembly was used in the high-definition imaging technology that mapped regions of Haiti devastated by the 2010 earthquake. Aid workers used those maps to determine the full extent of the damage.

ASE Optics, an optical engineering services firm, improves lens system performance for aerial applications through new techniques to control vibration. Improved image quality for these imaging systems helps customers react to natural disasters and understand threats, among many commercial and government applications.

Christopher Cotton, GM of ASE Optics, says “We’re often called in to troubleshoot imaging systems for aerial applications. Our lens assembly was used in the high-definition imaging technology that mapped regions of Haiti devastated by the 2010 earthquake. Aid workers used those maps to determine the full extent of the damage. Closer to home, this same system was used to map New York’s Hudson Valley flooding this fall.”

Aerial applications cause several design challenges:

  •     Vibrations decrease image quality
  •     Extreme temperature changes from the lab to the aerial platform
  •     The need to balance weight sensitivity with stability

ASE Optics has worked to design or optimize camera systems for commercial, defense and security applications. To control vibrations, ASE utilizes a hydrostatic mounting technique and a focusing mechanism secured by a compressible clamp that exerts pressure on the barrel. To meet the challenge of temperature changes, ASE creates fixtures that are separate from the camera, thus allowing the lens to be focused in the lab with an interferometer. It can then be mounted to the camera, ready to be used in flight. To meet weight and stability needs, ASE optical engineers are often able to find off-the-shelf lenses, which can be ruggedized and athermalized. This approach meets cost constraints at low quantities. Finally, ASE’s Discovery Service is an ideal way to define accurate requirements and the correct choice of design to ensure accurate thermal compensation for each individual project. This ensures that their work in the early stages improves practical application in the field.

To learn more about these techniques, watch ASE’s video.

About ASE Optics
ASE Optics was founded in 1994 to provide optical engineering support for companies who couldn’t find, couldn’t afford, or couldn’t justify having an optical engineer on staff. ASE Optics “sees beyond the lens”—their optical engineers’ expertise is both deep and broad, crossing industries from security and defense to consumer electronics to medical devices. Visit http://www.aseoptics.com to learn more.

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