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Optics from Optical Surfaces have helped Surrey Satellite Technology win the 2012 Sir Arthur Clarke award for ‘Best Space Activity — Industry/Project’ for the Nigeriasat-2 Earth observation satellite. Nigeriasat-2 was built for the Nigerian Space Agency (NASRDA).

The 300kg satellite incorporates a high-performance camera with key optical components manufactured by Optical Surfaces.

It has been able to capture 2.5m-resolution images, enabling detailed analyses of ground structures, aircraft and vehicles.

Nigeriasat-2 carries two imagers: a 2.5m-resolution panchromatic imager and a 5m-resolution multispectral imager with a swath width of 20km.

Key benefits of product application

  • Optical Surfaces’ skilled craftsmen produced the 385mm light-weighted primary mirror and other optics in the Cassegrain camera, with a surface accuracy of lambda/20p-v; these optics have enabled the satellite to take high-resolution images.
  • The company is claimed to be one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of high-precision optics for satellite deployment and astronomical research.
  • Its manufacturing workshops and test facilities are ISO 9001-2008 approved.

Optical Surfaces

Optical Surfaces Ltd has been producing large and demanding high-precision optical components and systems for more than 40 years and is today internationally acknowledged for its technical expertise, attention to quality and customer service.

With the main workshops and test facilities deep underground in an area excavated from solid chalk, temperatures remain constant year-round and vibration is practically non-existent. These are important considerations when making, mounting and testing high-precision optics. Working with these natural advantages Optical Surfaces Ltd is able to supply high-precision off-axis parabolas, spherical and flat mirrors, etalons, aspherics, reference flats, windows, collimators and beam expanders for the most demanding applications. With such stable conditions, testing, particularly with long path lengths, becomes quantifiable and reliable. Investment in large-aperture Fizeau, Zygo GPI, Flashphase, Twyman Green, Scatterplate, and Laser Unequal Path interferometers allows detailed testing of the largest-diameter optics. Topographic and fringe analysis provides precise testing of surface roughness and confirms the wavefront of various surface forms. A rolling programme for calibration of test optics where possible to national standards and production approval to ISO 9001-2008 ensure that the quality of optics from Optical Surfaces is second to none.

Today the company is a trusted supplier to leading scientific, astronomical and defence establishments including many space projects worldwide.

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