May 20, 2010 - Peter Clark

Meeting Location has changed to the Doubletree Hotel in Waltham

Focusing Miniature Cameras with Tunable Lenses

Mobile telephones are, of course, ubiquitous and the worldwide market is still growing. Almost every new cell phone has a camera now, and some have two! The cell phone camera lens is a remarkable and, I think, underappreciated achievement. We'll discuss cell phone camera optics briefly. Most of these miniature cameras are fixed aperture, fixed focus, fixed focal length systems. The design priorities are 1) size, 2) cost, and 3) image quality, but these lenses actually are interesting and very challenging to design and build.

Camera-phone image quality is steadily improving. Optical image quality gets better, pixel counts increase, and yet most cameras are still fixed-focus, so we'll also take up the problem of adding autofocus (AF) to cell phone cameras. It sounds like it would be easy, and there have been a number of AF solutions, yet none of them is in more than a small fraction of manufactured cameras. LensVector has developed a small, low-cost optical AF device that has no moving parts and promises to add AF capability to a large part of the cell phone camera market.

Along the way, there have been interesting issues of testing and development. We'll talk a bit about some of those and the elementary, yet elegant optical principals behind them.


Read more: May 20, 2010 - Peter Clark

Apr. 21, 2010 - Student/Industry Forum

Student/Industry Forum

Note: A Wednesday Meeting to be held at Boston University

The NES/OSA in association with the Optical Society of America and its Student Chapters will be holding a Forum on Optics Jobs in New England. The optics industry is invited to join area students to talk about what graduates can look forward to when they have completed their formal education. The program will include speakers sharing their insights and experience making the transition from student to industry.

Forum Speakers will include:

The meeting will begin with networking including refreshments and a light meal, followed by a panel of up to four 10 min talks and a Q&A session, finishing with time for further discussions. Our industry panel will draw speakers from New England's diverse industrial base such as Aerospace, Metrology, Lighting and Bio-Medical.

We encourage our regular members to bring their stories, feel free to share any information about your companies or institutions, and we welcome postings for jobs or internships.

Read more: Apr. 21, 2010 - Student/Industry Forum

Mar. 18, 2010 - Tom Brown

Meeting Location has changed to the Doubletree Hotel in Waltham

Can stress be a good thing?
The geometrical beauty and  practical applications of stress-engineered optical elements.

The study of stress birefringence goes back to the earliest days of  optics, yet squeezing an otherwise uninteresting optical window can  provide beautiful and surprising effects.  After a brief (and pretty)  pictorial overview of stress polarimetry, I will discuss the optics of a symmetrically stressed window, from which one can produce laser  beams having polarization vortices, scalar phase vortices, and even  more exotic beams. Whether used as pupil filters in microscopy or in  polarimetry applications, they also show interesting potential in a wide variety of optical engineering applications.

Read more: Mar. 18, 2010 - Tom Brown

Feb. 18, 2010 - Don Golini

Enabling high-performance optical fabrication with sub-aperture finishing and stitching interferometry

Commercially available sub-aperture polishing and measurement technologies have changed the landscape of precision optics manufacturing. Such developments have enabled the production of higher precision and more complex optics with increasingly difficult figure requirements. Magnetorheological Finishing (MRF®) is a production-proven, deterministic sub-aperture finishing method that overcomes many limitations of traditional polishing. Sub-aperture Stitching Interferometers (SSI®) extend the effective aperture, dynamic range, and accuracy of phase measuring interferometers by combining novel software and hardware. QED has pioneered these finishing and metrology techniques over the past decade. Some of the latest developments on how MRF and stitching interferometry may be combined to enable cost effective manufacturing of a wide range of precision optical surfaces will be presented. Some interesting aspects of growing a business from a university spin-off to a wholly owned subsidiary of a publicly traded company will also be covered.

Read more: Feb. 18, 2010 - Don Golini

Jan. 14, 2010 - Mark Kahan

What happens in New England stays in New England. Sometimes.

This after dinner talk will consist of a much abbreviated set of colloquial vignettes and true optical systems engineering and managerial take-always, based on embellished fact. Names & situations may have been intentionally changed to make a point, to avoid liable, and to protect the not-so-innocent. From the Navy through the Three Little Pigs, some details have, until now, generally remained secret, as they were rather embarrassing. Others, like many of the lessons Steve Benton taught us, just plain deserve restatement. We’ll highlight some of these universal lessons-learned, in ways intended to help us all.

Read more: Jan. 14, 2010 - Mark Kahan

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