Asking the right questions leads to best optical shutter design, writes Vincent's Pasquarella

Electromechanical shutters are vital components in a broad spectrum of optical assemblies and systems. Shutter requirements are sometimes not apparent or considered during optical system design; other times, they need to be expanded upon after the launch of a system. Additionally, requirements may be added by the ultimate end user of a system that necessitate the implementation of a shutter into the design.

Shutters similar to the Uniblitz RS20B are well suited for thin space envelopes due to the low-profile design.
Shutters similar to Vincent Associates’ Uniblitz RS20B are well suited for thin space envelopes due to the low-profile design.

The perceived simple nature of a shutter (a device that opens and closes to gate light) leads to a tendency for its consideration to be left until later in the design cycle, or when a prerequisite of the design reveals a specified need. Such scenarios can potentially raise havoc with a product’s development cycle, especially if the nature of the design requires significant time to accomplish lifetime qualification, prove new material interactions, and/or develop special test equipment for the customer’s ongoing production qualification. For example, doing a lifetime-qualification test of a larger-aperture device such as a 65 mm shutter at a test rate of slightly greater than 1 Hz and a specified lifetime of 2.2 million operations can take more than 25 days to complete even for around-the-clock testing.

This article discusses a few cases where the system integrators/designers did not consider the need for a shutter device during the design pre-stages, resulting in project delays, costs adjustments, and additional testing. However, understanding certain criteria and asking a number of questions of the shutter-design team can help the design engineer to predict the need for a shutter early on and to allow for more consistent development and implementation.

Read More: http://www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/print/volume-50/issue-10/features/optical-shutters-asking-the-right-questions-leads-to-best-shutter-design.html

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