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Optical Assembly – Active VS Passive

April 4, 2018

Optics Assembly

In this article we will describe the prons & cons of optics assembly in both methods .



According to the current industry trends in the fields of Automotive, AR, VR, Medical, Optics etc. it seems that it is going more and more to the use of smart optics to help us make the right decisions or make the decisions for us. This created a need for computers to "see" the outside, physical world. As the use of these models and markets evolve, higher quality imaging systems are needed to enable better optical performance. Consumer expectations for thinner devices and better-quality images contribute to the increased demand for high quality imaging and drive up the complexity of manufacturing these optical systems. As complexity increases, so do manufacturing challenges.


What is Active Alignment ?

The term "Active alignment" is used to describe the process of dynamic assembly. It describes the process of placing an optical component, usually a lens, a sensor or laser while continuously measuring and challenging the power or image quality.

Due to this technology, it is possible to receive the maximal performance of the optical components.



Mechanical Allignment.

The most common and simplest way to mount optics is by mechanical placement or mechanical alignment.

In Mechanical placement, the optical components are placed relatively to visual marks or by tight mechanics in addition to special gigs. Usually when using this method, the adhesive is applied before the optical placement and the optical performance are tested post assembly.

In Mechanical alignment, the optical components are placed relative to camera image quality or external signal source and adjusted by manual micrometers. Usually when using this method the adhesive is applied after the “dry \ pre-alignment “was measured and confirmed.

In this method, the assembly is tested before adhesive and post curing.


Computing Power.

Since augmented reality and virtual reality are intensively entering to our workspace (medical, automotive) and personal life, this industry requires and promotes the appearance of small scale and low-weight optical systems usually mounted on our head or even our nose tips.

As AR and VR headsets get thinner and smaller, the complexity of the mounted optical systems, including both camera and projection optics, are, naturally, increasing.

Other applications for computer vision, like self-driving cars, are mission-critical and require extreme levels of accuracy. For the massive arrays of cameras to properly inform the on-board computers of a self-driving car, they need to capture and send the most accurate images possible, so that the computer algorithms can quickly identify objects, calculate distances, and dictate the appropriate response. For this market, high quality optical systems are a necessity.

To deliver the needs of high image quality, low bill of materials (BOM) cost and high production yield it will be very hard to achieve all this in the old “mechanical alignment“ method.

The manufacture will have to compensate in additional elements to get the high image quality needed. this will “load” additional components on the product and increase the BOM, wei