Opto-Mechanical Design

Ruda-Cardinal employs a staff consisting of exceptional opto-mechanical engineers and mechanical engineers who are well versed in the critical processes of mounting and aligning optical systems. Mitch Ruda has developed numerous state of the art concepts for opto-mechanics and devoted much of his time to teaching and conveying his techniques to the RCI team. With the combination of Dr. Ruda's opto-mechanical skills and the innovative creative design team, Ruda-Cardinal is able to produce state of the art systems that meet the most complicated and challenging requirements.

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Ruda-Cardinal excels in stringent design parameters, such as the exigent analysis and design effort required to produce diffraction limited optical systems that are A-thermal, pressurized, and maintain focus over broad temperature and pressure changes. These analyses and implementations have been extremely successful and set the standard for RCI's design capabilities. RCI's capabilities expand beyond analysis and encompass opto-mechanical designs consisting of custom iris designs, custom precession free focus mechanisms with fine or coarse motion control, and extremely accurate boresights between optical systems. These custom designs can incorporate a manual or motorized adjustment, depending on the customer's needs.

RCI also develops test equipment to certify and accredit optical systems. These designs are capable of measuring focal length, distortion, magnification, on-axis images, as well as off-axis field points, and a multitude of other optical characteristics that make up the customer's acceptance criteria. The methodology used to develop these systems has proven to be a powerful RCI tool implemented on a regular basis.

Design of Test Equipment

Due to the large variation in optical requirements from our clients, we have found the need to create specialized test equipment to best service their needs on a sporadic basis. RCI currently has 5 collimators, three refractive and two reflective. The refractive designs allow for coverage of larger fields of view, but over a restricted wavelength range. Their main advantage is in being designed with an external stop position in order to match the usually inaccessible stop positions of units under test (UUT). The reflective design fields of view are restricted to the optical axis, but are wavelength independent. However, the UUT can be scanned in angle by rotating about the position of the stop. The main advantage of these collimators is in producing a diffraction-limited wavefront which allows easier analysis of the UUT images knowing that it is caused by the UUT, not the test optics. RCI also designs null lenses for testing individual optics, predominantly aspheric surfaces.