Optomechanical system design course premiere

Optomechanical system design course premiere

1 - 3 October 2019

The second part of the Optics Week, on 1-3 October 2019, was filled with the Optomechanical system design course. DSPE organised this course in order to promote the importance of optomechanical system design, as no course on this topic is currently being offered in Europe.

The first edition attracted a full house with some 35 participants, senior engineers as well as young talents, coming from Dutch high-tech companies as well as from abroad, including from Germany, Russia, China and Spain, which was represented by a large delegation from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, based in the Canary Islands.

The course targeted mechanical, mechatronic and optical engineers, offering a broad overview of this omnipresent multidiscipline. It contained numerous design examples that illustrated the tricks of the trade in optomechanical system design, which increasingly impacts the overall performance of high-tech systems. One of the objectives of the course was to help engineers from the various disciplines develop a common optomechanical language. The teachers were experienced system architects and designers: Lennino Cacace (AC Optomechanix and TU Delft), Pieter Kappelhof (Hittech Group), Gabby Aitink-Kroes (SRON) and Jan Nijenhuis (TNO).


The first day of training took the step from optics to optomechanics by starting with the layout of optical systems and the influence of component positioning errors on system performance, and included an exercise for the participants. Day one continued with optical concepts for optomechanical engineering and finished with tolerancing for optomechanical systems. In addition, participants were provided with the system engineering tools that contribute to optimum cooperation between the optical and mechanical engineer.

The second day was all about mechanics for optics. Subjects included the design of alignment mechanisms and the mounting of optical components with the aid of clamping or adhesive bonding. The (thermal) stability of optical systems and optomechanics under cryogenic conditions, featuring the instrumentation for astronomy, were left for the final day. The course concluded with a discussion on the exercise concerning the influence of component misalignment on system performance.


Given the huge turnout and the participants' positive reception of the course, a second edition of this special course has already been planned for March 2020, to be held once again in Eindhoven. 


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