pinholes

Diagnosing the perfect solution to an imaging challenge

Having built initial prototypes of the
guide light in house, the transfer to
volume production was seamless.

In the world of medical imaging, minute changes can literally mean the difference between life and death. Precise imaging allows physicians to make accurate diagnoses quickly and with confidence when treating patients with a variety of potentially life-threatening conditions.

The client: The client was in the medical imaging industry, where a minute difference could literally mean the difference between life and death.

The challenge: To track recovery, photos needed to be taken of the same area, in the same position, on a series of successive appointments. To guide the camera, two 12mm diameter, sharply focused spots of light needed to converge on the skin of a patient 1m away.

The clients competition had a similar project, so they were working to a strict time and budget.

The solution: Using a bulk stock mount, we accurately centred the LED by modifying the mount so it engaged with the LEDs integral lenses, rather than with its circuit board. The light from the LED then travels through a precision 350 micron pinhole, which gives the correct spot size and focus. The end result is a modular solution that can be easily adapted to allow different spot sizes and shapes for a range of distances.

Having made the prototypes in house, the transfer to volume production was seamless. Use of mass-produced and stock components kept costs and lead times minimal, and kept the product easily adaptable.

Space exploration made possible through down-to-earth knowhow

We applied lateral thinking and came up with
a solution that produced perfectly pinhole-free
coating on an entirely standard coating plant.

As a supplier to the aerospace industry our client was involved in one of the most exciting fields of engineering. They produced sun sensors for satellite guidance and for the navigation of planetary rovers. They came to us to solve a problem that could stop the project from getting off the ground.

The client: They produced sun sensors for satellite guidance. They came to us to solve a problem that could stop the project from getting off the ground. 

The challenge: A sun sensor is designed to detect the exact angle of the sun relative to the satellite. The design required an opaque coating on the surface of a filter. Light passes through lines etched through the coating, and is then analysed by a CCD chip behind the filter.

Light was entering the filter from other sources and causing false readings.

The solution: We found stray light was entering the module from two sources:

Pinholes in the coating were caused by dust particles on the substrate. Extra cleaning would have been expensive, but we applied lateral thinking and came up with a solution that produced perfectly pinhole-free coating on an entirely standard coating plant.

Stray light from the perimeter was being scattered from the ground edge. Edge blackening was ineffective, so we applied an ring of chrome coating to the sapphire cover plate above the filter.