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DoD Awards Edmund Optics $2.8M
Jan 2006
BARRINGTON, N.J., Jan. 6, 2006 -- Edmund Optics, a Barrington, N.J., producer of optics, imaging and photonics technology, announced it recently received $2.8 million in Department of Defense (DoD) ManTech funding to develop advanced manufacturing tools vital to producing complex conformal and advanced optical elements such as aspheres.

An asphere lens is an optical component that has at least one nonspherical surface. Aspheric surfaces can increase the numerical aperture of a lens while minimizing system aberrations. Also, when designed into lens systems, aspheres may enable a reduction of lens elements, which can save on materials and manufacturing costs.

Geared primarily at advances in precision glass molding technology, the initial objective of the funded program will be to create low-cost tooling methods critical to low- and mid-volume lens production runs needed by many DoD programs. Over the next two or three years, it will be expanded to include new methods for reducing assembly time of complex optical systems such as high-precision night vision and fire control systems.

Edmund Optics, in conjunction with the US Army Benet Weapons Lab, in Watervliet, N.Y., will manage the project at the Edmund Optics Advanced Optics Manufacturing Facility, in Pennsburg, Pa. Design engineering and assembly technologies will be codeveloped at the Edmund Optics’ corporate headquarters in Barrington, N.J., and its design center in Tucson, Ariz.

According to Edmund Optics President John Stack, "Cost-effective implementation of asphere technology has become a major obstacle to increasing performance and reducing weight in a wide variety of DoD programs. The grant will go a long way to solve some long-standing technical and manufacturing hurdles."

Company officials said the funding is a significant step in advancing optical manufacturing technology in North America.

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The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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