Active and Adaptive Optics

The Active and Adaptive Optics group at Fraunhofer IOF specializes in the development and testing of application-specific deformable mirrors and complete AO systems for active beam shaping.

Main application areas of these technologies are turbulence correction for laser and quantum communication as well as beam shaping with respect to optimal imaging properties in laser material processing.

 

Your partner for the development of active and adaptive optical components and systems

We develop application-specific and flexible solutions for our customers from industry and research. Our portfolio in the field of adaptive and active optics ranges from highly dynamic focus mirrors for laser material processing to long-term stable as well as space-qualified deformable mirrors to individual system components.

Thanks to our many years of expertise and the excellent technical equipment at Fraunhofer IOF, we can offer our customers developments along the entire optical process chain. Numerous partners from science and industry benefit from our know-how in various projects.

Our range of services:

 

Our range of services in the field of active and adaptive optics includes the following:

  • ​Concept and system design for systems with active optical elements
  • Optical design for adaptive optical components and systems
  • Mechanical design for adaptive optical components and systems
  • Design of adaptive optical control
  • Simulation of free-space optical systems with adaptive optical control
  • Electronics and software development
  • Production planning and manufacturing
  • Integration and design of optical systems
  • Characterization of optical links (free-beam links), link budget calculation
  • Wavefront measurements
  • Prototyping and laboratory tests
  • Measurement campaigns

Tell us your desired application and we will develop the customized solution for you.

 

We're shaping light!

Markets and applications

 

With the adaptive and active optics, Fraunhofer IOF aims to promote new, innovative applications in the fields of space and communication systems, microstructuring and 3D material processing with high-power lasers. Furthermore, the advantages of active and adaptive components as well as systems can be targeted in the following applications:

  • Deformable mirrors for laser material processing
  • Deformable mirrors for space telescopes
  • AO systems for satellite-based laser and quantum communications
  • AO systems for terrestrial laser and quantum communications
  • AO control systems for low and high spatial frequency correction
  • and much more ...
Front and back of a focus mirror in the hands of a researcher.
© Fraunhofer IOF
Active unimorph focus mirror for tracking the beam focus in laser material processing. Connections for power supply, sensor evaluation, and cooling water are located on the rear side.
Active metal mirror for correction of quasi-static aberrations in space telescopes - fully mounted and non-mounted semi-monolithic mirror substrate.
© Fraunhofer IOF
Active metal mirror for correction of quasi-static aberrations in space telescopes - fully mounted and non-mounted semi-monolithic mirror substrate.
Extreme-AO (XAO) mirror demonstrator to study actuator integration in smallest space (3.7 mm actuator spacing) - with exchangeable actuator module (4x4 piezo stack actuators).
© Fraunhofer IOF
Extreme-AO (XAO) mirror demonstrator to study actuator integration in smallest space (3.7 mm actuator spacing) - with exchangeable actuator module (4x4 piezo stack actuators).

Your advantages of working with us

 

This field of expertise benefits especially from the interdisciplinary cooperation at our institute. Our many years of experience and continuous development in the fields of optical design and coating as well as in the development of precision mechanics provide an excellent basis for top results in active and adaptive optics. Our customers can benefit from significant performance improvements in photonic applications enabled by adaptive optical components and systems.

Due to the extensive range of manufacture and broadly trained, highly qualified personnel, we have the possibility to address your challenges at any point of the photonic process chain. We look forward to your challenge!

 

Technical equipment

The development of adaptive optical components and systems benefits greatly from the excellent equipment as well as the interdisciplinary cooperation between all departments of the institute. Ranging from the discussion of the principle, and opto-mechanical design and manufacturing to the application-oriented measurement campaign, we can meet all requirements with know-how and technical equipment. Among others, our equipment includes the following aspects:

  • Diverse and state-of-the-art tools for measurement, design, and simulation
  • Laser sources of different wavelengths and power
  • Various methods for surface measurement (vibrometer, interferometer, wavefront measurement, triangulation)
  • Air-conditioned optics laboratories under standard and clean room conditions
  • Permanent access to excellently equipped workshops for the production of optical and mechanical components as well as for extensive in-house electronics manufacturing
  • Characterization of adaptive optical systems under real conditions with free-space measurement paths of different lengths (50 m up to 1.7 km)
  • Scintillometer for the characterization of turbulence conditions

 

 

Active metal mirror during final shape correction.
© Fraunhofer IOF
Fully integrated active metal mirror during final shape correction.

Our research strength

 

Annual report articles

The articles in the annual report show, among other things, the research strength of our experts at Fraunhofer IOF. Every year, selected research results from the previous year (Archive annual reports) are published in the annual report. You can find the articles on developments regarding adaptive optics from the past years in the following list:

  • "Adaptive optics box for quantum communication ground station"
  • "Deformable mirrors for highly dynamic beam oscillation"
  • "Dynamic focus-shifting mirror for laser processing" 
  • „Adaptive optics box for quantum communication ground station"

Full texts of research reports

 

Excellent scientific publications and patents

Our researchers publish many of their scientific results in scientific journals. Both the large number of scientific publications and patents speak for the excellence of our researchers. We offer adapted licenses for our patent-protected process.

A list of scientific papers as well as patents on the subject of active and adaptive optical technologies can be found below:

Selection of scientific publications

Selection of patents

 

Have we aroused your interest?


Then contact us.
We develop customized solutions for photonic problems from industry and science.

Something is unclear?

 

Please ask us. We will be happy to help.

If you have any questions regarding the cooperation with Fraunhofer IOF, please find further information under the following link:

You can't find anything suitable for your request?

Then contact us anyway.
We also develop new components and adaptive or active systems on behalf of customers.