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Optical Surfaces produces ultra-smooth parabolic, ellipsoidal, spherical and toroidal mirrors for demanding applications.

The mirrors have been used in applications including high-power laser electron acceleration, beam focusing experiments and ground-based telescope research.

The company says its 1.3m-diameter spherical spectrograph mirror was a component in helping produce the first observable evidence of the existence of black holes.

Optical Surfaces’ manufacturing workshops and test facilities are deep underground in a series of tunnels excavated in solid chalk where it is said temperature remains constant and vibration is practically non-existent.

Key specifications

  • Parabolic mirrors measure up to 600mm in diameter and have surface accuracies to lambda/20p-v depending upon off-axis angles
  • Natural limit to the off-axis angle of around 25–30º and surface micro-roughness of ~1Nm rms can be achieved

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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