Vibrations in optical systems result in line of sight and wavefront errors that must be analyzed and minimized. The optomechanical engineer must take into account structural engineering principles. Our engineers can estimate the modal response of an optical system and the worst case misalignments that result from dynamic disturbances by using hand calculations and engineering tools like finite element analysis. Dynamic analysis often involves estimating highly variable quantities like damping and joint stiffness. Our engineers are able to bound the problem and iterate with analysis to ensure that the final design works as intended.
Stiffness analysis is done to assess how much an optic and its support structure bends under gravity. As your optical system slews across changing elevation angles, accelerates on a missile, or relaxes upon entering a zero-G environment the optics and their housing will move and bend. It is important that the moving and bending which occurs does not affect the performance of your optical system. Our engineers understand this and will “make it so.”
An optical system’s performance is key. A lens that has shattered into 50 shards or a metering structure that has snapped in half will not perform very well. Fracture mechanics must be taken into account when doing stress analysis for glass. Our engineers can do stress analysis to ensure that the optical system does not fail. Stress analysis is a very important aspect of structural engineering that cannot be ignored. Testing may be required to certify a glass-epoxy-metal interface for a system that is expected to experience high loads (thermal or inertial), and our engineers can facilitate that as well.