Optomechanics – SPIE


We have a terrific program set up for SPIE’s Optics and Photonics Symposium in San Diego on August 25th through 29th, 2013.  We have a two-day conference, “Optomechanical Engineering 2013,” on Wednesday and Thursday (the 28th and 29th) with a poster session on Monday evening, a meeting of the Optomechanical/Instrument Technical Group on Tuesday evening, the 27th, and the greatest exhibit of the optics industry to be in Southern California all year on the 27th, 28th and 29th.

Our Tuesday night meeting will feature Phil Pressel’s presentation of some of the challenges he faced in designing the “Hexagon” space surveillance camera for the CIA.  The project was officially declassified in 2011 and Phil is publishing a book on his experiences on the project.  It may be available at the meeting and you might be able to get him to autograph it for you.

I’ll be teaching my day-long tutorial, “Optomechanics and the Tolerancing of Instruments,” on Monday the 26th.  This is the course in which I teach engineers the full theory behind the Optomechanical Constraint Equations that control the position, orientation and size of the image in an optical system.  I personally use the equations to tolerance the optical metering structure, size alignment mechanisms, evaluate thermal boresight shifts and analyze image jitter in dynamic environments.  I show my students how to do the same things.

Wednesday night is the Awards Banquet at which new Fellows will be inducted by the society.  That’s a grand event as well.

Also on Wednesday, the 28th, I’ll be presenting a paper in our conference and on Thursday I’ll be presenting a paper in Mark Kahan’s conference, “Optical Modeling and Performance Prediction VI.”

It’s a week-long hubbub of exciting events, networking and learning.  I hope to see you all there.

Al H.

Optomechanics – Optomechanics and the Tolerancing of Instruments


I will be presenting my tutorial “Optomechanics and the Tolerancing of Instruments” in San Diego on August 13th during SPIE’s Optics and Photonics Symposium.  The course is primarily intended for mechanical engineers and designers in the optics industry and may be of interest to other optics professionals as well.

In the tutorial I develop the full theory of the Optomechanical Constraint Equations (OCE).  They relate the position, orientation and size of an image to the position and orientation of each of the optical elements that form it.  I work through numerical examples to assist the student’s understanding and illustrate the application of the OCE with examples, static and dynamic, from my engineering practice.

The OCE are the basis for the AEH/Ivory Optomechanical Modeling Tools (version 2.6 currently available) that are the mechanical engineer’s first choice for design and analysis of optical systems.

For more details on  the course visit SPIE’s web site,


or send your questions to me.

I’ll also be hosting an evening meeting of the Optomechanical Technical Group, probably on Tuesday (but more on that later) as well as cruising the conference rooms, receptions and exhibit halls.  It’ll be a big week!

Hope to see you all in San Diego from August 12th through the 16th.

Al H.

Optomechanics – SPIE


There’s a great opportunity for optomechanical engineers coming up next month in San Diego:

SPIE’s International Symposium on Optics and Photonics
August 22-25, 2011
San Diego Convention Center and Marriott Marina Hotel

We (The International Technical Group on Optomechanical Engineering) have a two-day conference
on the 24th and 25th with 31 oral presentations and 6 poster presentations.  The topics cover the whole spectrum of optomechanics from materials through components and mounting to systems performance and applications.  Hot stuff.

We’ll have an evening meeting as well:  Tuesday, 800 to 1000 PM (check the conference program for the hotel room).  Our feature speaker will be Kent Weed of Lightworks Optics in Irvine, California.  He’ll discuss, among other things, LIghtwork’s challenges in a recent project to map the surface of the moon.  They’ve had some really interesting projects and this should be a fascinating gathering.  The meeting is free and open to the public.

If any of you have items you’d like to put before the Technical Group let me know and I’ll make sure you have a spot on the agenda.  Following the agenda items we’ll have our usual “Problems and Solutions Workshop,” which will last as long as your energy and the Hotel management allow.

Oh, I almost forgot, I’ll be giving my tutorial on the Optomechanical Constraint Equations,

Optomechanics and the Tolerancing of Instruments (or The Mechanics of Image Motion).
Tuesday, August 23, 2011, 830 AM to 500 PM
San Diego Convention Center

This is the in-depth explication of the theory and application of optomechanical influence coefficients in the mechanical design and analysis of optical instruments.  You may  register for the class through the SPIE web site:  http://spie.org.

There’ll be a massive three-day exhibit with all of our suppliers represented and Wednesday evening is the grand awards banquet… seemingly endless opportunities for socializing and networking with all the movers and shakers of the industry.

It’s going to be a great week and I hope to see you all there.

Al H.

Optomechanics – Training and a Party


Well, Spring finally decided to arrive.  It was almost 60 degrees in Pasadena yesterday!

 And I’ll be going to Orlando shortly, on the 25th, to celebrate the season.  That’s not exactly true:  I’ll also be presenting a paper on how the mechanical engineer assures that the laser system and the imaging system stay aligned with the gyro (or other inertial sensors) in a stabilized sensor suite.  That’ll be on Tuesday morning, the 26th, about 11:40.

Then I’ll celebrate.  Oh, but only a little, because on Wednesday, the 27th, I teach class all day (Optomechanical Analysis).  Then I’ll really celebrate, at the banquet that night.
SPIE’s Symposium on Defense and Security is a great gathering!  I’ll be there most of the week and I hope I’ll see many of you there.
Come and celebrate too!

Al H.

Optomechanics – Training


This is just a reminder that I’ll be presenting my full-day tutorial “Optomechanical Analysis” in Orlando on April 27th during SPIE’s Defense and Security Symposium.

The class is primarily for mechanical engineers who work in the design and analysis of optical instruments and systems.  But it may also be of interest to other professionals in the optics industry.  Review the course description and reserve a seat in the classroom.

I hope to see a great number of you in Orlando next month.

Al Hatheway

Optomechanics – SPIE


I’ll be presenting my tutorial “Optomechanical Analysis” at SPIE’s Optics and Photonics Symposium.  The time and date are:

28 August 2007
830 AM to 530 PM
Marriott Marina Hotel, San Diego and
San Diego Convention Center (next door to the hotel)

I’ll be discussing and comparing various methods to evaluate the mechanical engineers’ impacts on the optical instruments and systems they design and analyze.  You may read the abstract and sign-up for the course by clicking on the following web-site:


I’ll also be hosting a meeting of the Optomechanical/Instrument Technical Group that same evening, the 28th, 8 to 10 PM.  Larry Stepp will be our feature speaker and will discuss the mechanical challenges of the Thirty Meter Telescope project, of which he is the Telescope Department Head.  Following Larry we’ll get an up-date from Rob Bernier on how he implemented some of your suggestions from last year’s meeting on metrology challenges in the JWST project at Tinsley.

Then, on Wednesday the 29th and Thrusday the 30th I and some of our colleagues will chair sessions of our biennial conference, “New Developments in Optomechanics.”  We’ll have over 30 oral presentations during the days and almost a dozen poser papers Wednesday evening.

It ought to be a great time!  I hope to see you all there.

Al H.

Optomechanics – SPIE


This is a final reminder:  I’ll be presenting my tutorial “Optomechanical Analysis” at the SPIE’s Orlando conference on Defense and Security.  The time and date are,

12 April 2007
830 AM to 530 PM
Orlando World Center Marriott Resort and Convention Center

In it I’ll be discussing and comparing various methods to evaluate the mechanical engineer’s impact on the optical instruments and systems.  You may read the abstract and sign-up for the course by clicking the following web-site:


I’ll also be Exhibiting at Booth No. 1307.  I’ll be passing out complimentary demonstration copies of my Ivory Optomechanical Modeling Tools as long as they last.  Please drop by and say “Hello.”

I hope to see you all there.

Al Hatheway

Optomechanics – SPIE’s Optomechanical/Instrument International Technical Group

Dear Colleagues:

Welcome all to the grand year of 2007!  This is also the 20th anniversary of SPIE’s Optomechanical/Instrument International Technical Group.

On August 20, 1987, we had our first gathering during SPIE’s Annual Meeting in San Diego.  That first meeting was chaired by Roger Reiss and the agenda included Roger, Bill Barnes Jr., Paul Yoder, Dan Vukobratovich, Don O’Shea, Warren Smith and myself.  The assembly elected Roger to be the first chairman of the Group and we decide to organize our own conferences dedicated to the arts of optomechanical engineering and instrument design.  We’ve been presenting them every-other year (and sometimes more frequently) ever since.

This summer we will be presenting our biennial conference (see the attachment).  This is the perfect opportunity to get the acclaim you deserve for all your hard work and to network with the best pool of technical talent in our industry.

We are also planning an informative evening meeting that should stimulate conversation and a lot of good ideas.  Last year we stirred-up the metrology activities at SSG-Tinsley.  Who knows what trouble we’ll get you into this August?

I plan to renew old friendships, stir-up some new ideas, meet new people and have a great time.  Just what this great year, 2007, ought to be all about!

Here’s to hoping to see you all there.

Al Hatheway

P.S. – Be sure to get your abstracts in early!