Technical Notes

Technical Notes

Polarization Control with Optics

Precise control of polarization behavior is necessary to obtain optimal performance from optical components and systems. Characteristics such as reflectivity, insertion loss, and beamsplitter …

Technical Notes

UAV Imaging Systems

When equipped with high-performance thermal imaging systems, UAVs, also known as drones, lend themselves to a wide range of defense, government, and commercial applications.

Technical Notes

Beam Expanders

Simple beam expanders are essentially telescopes which, in their most basic forms, consist of two lenses. The input beam is assumed to be collimated. The first lens must have a diameter …

Technical Notes

Variable Laser Attenuators

Variable laser attenuators consist of essentially two optical components, a half waveplate, and a polarizer with a good extinction ratio, and allow for continuous power control for …

Technical Notes

Fundamentals of Spatial Filtering

Spatial filters provide a convenient way to remove random fluctuations from the intensity profile of a laser beam. This greatly improves resolution — which is especially critical for …

Technical Notes

Optical Mirror Physics

Optical mirrors consist of metallic or dielectric films deposited directly on a substrate such as glass, differing from common mirrors, which are coated on the back surface of the …

Technical Notes

Diffraction Grating Physics

A diffraction grating is essentially a multi-slit surface. It provides angular dispersion, i.e., the ability to separate wavelengths based on the angle that they emerge from the gr …

Technical Notes

Optical Coatings

Optical coatings typically consist of thin films made up of single or multiple layers of either metallic or dielectric materials. When properly designed and fabricated, these coatings …

Technical Notes

Optical Filter Characteristics

In addition to being deposited on the surface of an optical component, optical coatings can also be incorporated into a single element through deposition on one or many substrates followed …

Technical Notes

Optical Lens Physics

Lenses are essentially light-controlling elements and so are exploited for light gathering and image formation.

Technical Notes

Fiber Optic Physics

This technical note discusses the fundamental physics of optical fibers, their practical implementation, and the various types of optical fibers.

Technical Notes

Diffraction Grating Part Number System

All standard Richardson gratings have a part number following the format AA BBB CC DD - EEE x

Selection Guides

Plane Ruled Diffraction Gratings Selection Guide

For a plane ruled diffraction grating, the groove spacing and blaze angle determine the distribution of energy. The blaze direction for most gratings is specified for first-order Littrow …

Selection Guides

Plane Holographic Diffraction Gratings Selection Guide

A holographic diffraction grating has a sinusoidal groove shape, created by recording interference fringe fields in photoresist material. Since the grooves are symmetric, they do not …

Selection Guides

Echelle Diffraction Gratings Selection Guide

An echelle diffraction grating differs from a conventional grating (called an echelette) in many ways. An echelle is coarse with fewer grooves per millimeter and is used at high angles …

Technical Notes

Focusing and Collimating

As a first example, we look at a common application, the focusing of a laser beam to a small spot. The situation is shown in Figure 5. Here we have a laser beam, with radius y1 and …

Tutorials

Fiber Optic Basics

Optical fibers are circular dielectric wave-guides that can transport optical energy and information. They have a central core surrounded by a concentric cladding with slightly lower …

Technical Notes

Gaussian Beam Optics

The Gaussian has no obvious boundaries to give it a characteristic dimension like the diameter of the circular aperture, so the definition of the size of a Gaussian is somewhat arbitrary. …

Technical Notes

Fiber Optic Coupling

The problem of coupling light into an optical fiber is really two separate problems. In one case, we have the problem of coupling into multimode fibers, where the ray optics of the …

Technical Notes

Beam Shaping with Cylindrical Lenses

Cylindrical Lenses focus or expand light in one axis only. They can be used to focus light into a thin line in optical metrology, laser scanning, spectroscopic, laser diode, acousto-optic, …

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