Portfolio and capabilities
Ely Optics and Medical Optics
The design of medical optics has been a key feature of Ely Optics activities since the earliest days of the company. Right from the start medical optics were at the very heart of what we do best with the optical design and engineering of endoscopes through to intra-ocular lenses. Since the turn of the millennia medical optics and medical imaging optics have undergone a huge transformation in part driven by advances in CMOS imaging and the now abundant HDTV devices. Medical optics has kept pace with these changes through the application of sound optical engineering principles and careful optical design. Ely Optics has played its part in ensuring that good optical design has kept pace with these developments.
Miniature optical components place unusual constraints on the optical design and engineering of systems such as endoscopes and industrial borescopes. Ely Optics understands these engineering requirements.
Another illustration of our medical optical design and engineering record is the design of a heat absorbing fibre optic coupler for endoscope illumination. Here metal parts were hot against the patient’s body and we designed and engineered an optical component to reduce the heat absorbed by the metalwork of the coupler.
Medical optics remains a key part of our activities with several retained contracts.
Ely Optics and Imaging Optics
Together with our medical optics we design optical systems for specific imaging applications. Our imaging optics designs have found application in such diverse fields as military optical engineering (binocular optics, infra-red optics, and guidance optics), X-ray inspection optics and flatbed scanner imaging optics.
To assist with our optical design and engineering we use a variety of software packages but the most popular by far is our workhorse, Zemax. This optical design and engineering package enables comprehensive design, testing and simulations of our optical designs. Often, our clients will have Zemax and this enables the direct and immediate transfer of optical designs, saving time and of course money for our clients. Time to market remains a key parameter for any manufacturing enterprise.
Ely Optics and Illumination
Illumination optics and the engineering of illumination optics is another mainstay of Ely Optics and this is perhaps the most diverse optical engineering field that we work in. We have engineered the optics of many systems, from complex through to simple. From fibre optic bundles for medical optics and shop display lighting all the way through to bicycle lighting, display lighting and the inevitable luminaire or two.
We have even optically designed heat absorbing couplers to ensure that the metal parts of fibre optic illumination systems remain cool when used for medical operations (see medical optics). For optical illumination the driving force is nearly always cost and our optical design and engineering of illumination systems is always managed with the trade in performance against manufacturing cost uppermost in our minds.
Ely Optics and Fibre Optic Systems
From down well oil exploration systems requiring the optical engineering of remote fibre optic interfacing, through to the tolerance analysis of military fibre optic couplers the optical design and engineering provided by Ely Optics has assisted our clients to remain at the forefront of their field.
Oil exploration and extraction demand the highest levels of optical design and engineering and we have been involved with several challenging projects for some of the biggest names in the business. These demanding optical design requirements are perhaps paralleled best by the demands of our military optical engineering and design.
At Ely Optics we can use our Zemax optical design and simulation software to investigate and predict many features and attributes of fibre optic systems; this in terms of transmission and system tolerancing through to simple illumination. We can even give you a picture of what the output will look like and then back that up with measurements. Simulate measure and test is at the heart of modern optical design and engineering.
Ely Optics Facilities
Ely Optics has a laboratory for the investigation and analysis of our optical designs.
We can conduct simple photometric and radiometric analysis together with other optical engineering measurements.
We have a basic level of equipment but are always willing to add to our engineering equipment level for the right project.
Currently we have an optical table, various optical rails and mounts, a reasonable number of lenses, prisms, diffraction gratings and filters. We have both radiometric and photometric measuring equipment together with both laser and ‘white’ light sources.
Wild Insight Ltd
Ely Optics Ltd have designed and implemented a number of underwater optical systems. One of the most demanding was the optics for Wild Insight's "Venus" camera. The requirement here was to provide an image recording and illumination system suitable for dive depths down to 2000m. Features such as illumination spectrum, detector sensitivities, optics survivability and manufacturing cost were all highly relevant. The system is very successful and unique results have been achieved from the pioneering studies.
In a similar vein, Wild Insight has investigated the application of the Venus technologies to a diver camera. Again Ely Optics have designed and assessed the optics for this demanding application.
Optical Modelling with Zemax : Photometry
The Zemax optical modelling software can be used for a variety of different applications. Here Ely Optics has modelled the performance of an optical integrating sphere so that the transmission characteristics of an optical system can be assessed before that system enters production. This enables, for example, the influence of different glass choices to be characterised without the need for physically building each and every system.
Optical Modelling with Zemax : Mechanical Models
Together with the modelling of more conventional optics Zemax can simulate complex optical systems through the import of mechanical CAD structures such as, amongst others, IGES or STL files. Ely Optics has successfully modelled and assessed parts such as light guides and plastic moulded parts.
Optical Modelling with Zemax : Light Source Simulation
Many simulation applications require the very accurate modelling of a light source. To achieve this Ely Optics uses the “ProSource” software enabling ray data bases to be established through the photometric (or radiometric) measurement of real light sources.
This very powerful technique enables the integration of a ‘real’ light source with a proposed optical design, thus providing a most realistic evaluation of the system.
Various lenses have been designed with stage, television and performance in mind. These lenses are Fresnel types, designed specifically for spot lights, or flood lights, and are moulded from heat resistant borosilicate glass.
Optical Smoke Detection
In order to enable the early detection of fire a detector sensitive to small particulates is required. Such a detector can be realised optically and one was designed and implemented for one of our clients. The cell itself was designed together with test instrumentation (automatic visual inspection) for production units
Various lighting products have been designed from multiple fibre optic configurations through to faceted down lighters. The one illustrated here was designed for a major UK producer.
Display Box Optical Controller
To minimise the number of fluorescent tubes contained in an advertising display box. The aim of the project was to flatten the polar distribution from a fluorescent tube so as to create a flatter distribution with less overlap and hence fewer fluorescent tubes. This will provide advantages such as less heat generation and more pleasing distribution.
The solution was to design an extruded Fresnel like lens spaced a small distance from the fluorescent tube such that more light is directed to the edges of distribution and less to the centre.
Fibre Connector Production Tolerances Investigation
An analysis was conducted of an advanced fibre optic connector using typical manufacturing tolerances. The exercise was able to identify key, or most sensitive, tolerances so that manufacturing effort could be targeted at the most important. As a result of the investigation and subsequent manufacturing effort product yield was improved and a more consistent product supplied.
A somewhat similar exercise was conducted for a deep sea, high temperature and abrasive environment connector with equally successful results.
Ely Optics was approached by a manufacturer of industrial test equipment to design a Borescope capable of operating and surviving with high tip temperatures. This was achieved through a combination of optical, mechanical and thermal engineering. A reliable and robust solution has been demonstrated and has now will be placed into production.