News: Industry News

18th October 2018

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A Metrology Open Day hosted by Spectrum Metrology, 26th June 2019

Explore New Dimensions at the National Space Centre: Spectrum Metrology will be hosting an Open Day this June in conjunction with Taylor Hobson and FARO. Register now ...

12th March 2019 • Read »

4D Inspec XL micro-defect measurement system wins 2019 Prism award

We are pleased to announce that the 4D InSpec XL surface defect gauge has won the 2019 Prism award in Test and Measurement. The award was presented to 4D Technology during the Photonics West 2019 expo by SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics.

20th February 2019 • Read »

Digital Projectors and Video Measurement Microscopes in sharp focus at MACH

Spectrum Metrology invites visitors to the MACH exhibition to witness the optical clarity and precision of their latest digital projectors and video microscopes, manufactured by German designers Dr Schneider Messtechnik.

6th March 2018 • Read »

Alignment Telescopes used by Cammell Laird on the RRS Sir David Attenborough

Shipbuilders and marine engineers Cammell Laird are using the Micro Alignment Telescope to assist with precise alignment of the ships propeller shafts to the marine engine during build of the Sir David Attenborough polar research vessel

26th January 2018 • Read »

New Automatic prism and polygon checker launched at Photonics West

Taylor Hobson will launch its automatic prism/polygon measurement system at the forthcoming Photonics West exhibition in San Francisco this month.

15th January 2018 • Read »

Autocollimator used to test innovative Scanner System to monitor pollution

A team from the University of Leicester’s department of Physics and Astronomy have been developing leading space technology to monitor air pollution around Leicester and Peterborough, using a specially designed camera fitted to an aircraft.  Using the Taylor Hobson autocollimator, the scientists were able to align the optics in their camera to gain the sharpest possible image for accurate and repeatable results.

The University of Leicester’s space scientists successfully carried out the tests earlier this year using an aircraft equipped with a pioneering CompAQS scanner to measure air pollution, in particular nitrogen dioxide, in the environment.  The instrument is part of a major initiative to improve the UKs leadership in space instrumentation for Earth Observation and the University is hoping to send the CompAQS on a space mission in the early 2020s.

The CompAQS was designed, built and tested at the University of Leicester in collaboration with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and DL Optics Ltd.  It monitors visible light and measures how much light is lost at specific wavelengths absorbed by nitrogen dioxide.  Using this information, researchers can determine how polluted areas of the landscape are, including motorway junctions, airports, carparks and urban environments. This is valuable data to allow planners to mitigate the impact of pollution on health.

TA60 autocollimator alignment of optics
TA60 autocollimator used to align optical components

It was important to align the optics in the camera in order to gain optimum accuracy and give repeatable results.  To align the optical components within the scanner a Taylor Hobson autocollimator was used.

An autocollimators main use is to measure the angle of a mirror or optical component.  Using the laws of reflection, when the mirror is square to the autocollimator the reading is 0,0.  In its simplest form the autocollimator can be used to align optical components by putting them all in line and square.  Another feature of an autocollimator is that although it is focused at infinity for angle measurement you can add an objective lens (using a thread at the end of the barrel) and focus the autocollimator to align optical components.

This principle was used to align the optics in this specialised scanner – using the autocollimator to first measure the offset in the centre of curvature between the lens and the grating, then to align the mirror.

View full details of our autocollimator range