Actively aligning a lens to a sensor will provide superior performance and greater consistency, compared to those that are passively aligned.
Active alignment of a lens and sensor enables accurate, cost-effective production of high resolution, precision camera modules. The alignment process ensures the full capability of the lens and sensor are carried over to the completed module.
Smaller pixels and larger sensors are driving the need for fast, high resolution lenses. Meeting these high quality demands, yet maintaining a manufacturable lens at a reasonable cost, has forced engineers to employ a variety of techniques to deal with tolerance concerns during lens design. Many times, these manufacturing techniques result in positional accuracies in the single-digit μm range.
Often times, manually attaching a high quality lens to a high quality camera results in a poor to mediocre image due to standard, mechanical attachments such as c-mount or f-mount. The tolerances used for the manufacture of standard mounts, though acceptable for standard imaging, are far too lenient for high resolution applications.
Active Alignment Process
At Navitar we utilize state-of-the-art cam test equipment to actively align lenses to sensors for performance critical applications. When our technicians actively align a lens to a sensor, the alignment is based on the actual image captured by the sensor and adjustments are made with unbelievable accuracy.
Our process will evaluate the image that is generated by the sensor, determine if any dead pixels exist and make adjustments with 6 degrees of freedom. This level of accuracy would not be possible by relying on the machine tolerances of each of the components.
Benefits of Active Sensor Alignment
This is where active alignment comes into the picture. The lens and sensor are aligned while projecting multiple targets through the lens and onto the sensor while the sensor is imaging. The active alignment machine continually monitors the MTF at each of the target images until all MTF values are within acceptable limits.
When all MTF values are acceptable, preapplied adhesive is partially cured using UV, with complete thermal cure performed later. This allows the sensor to be aligned, within micrometers, to the appropriate lens image plane.
Precision Camera Module Production
Navitar 4K HDR lenses offer simple operation, little-to-no focus loss over large temperature ranges, outstanding color correction, and low lens-to-lens variation.
Combining HDR lenses with Pixelink camera sensors allows simple image acquisition (via USB 3.0, GigE, Firewire, etc.) and flexible image processing options to suit your individual application.
Choose from off-the-shelf Navitar 4K HDR lenses and Pixelink camera boards from 2/3” up to 1.1” sensor formats or tailor one of our existing designs to fit your specifications with no time lost during the design process. Navitar camera modules are used in the automotive, virtual reality, augmented reality, drone, surveillance, and agricultural industries.