Optical windows for wind tunnel aerodynamic testing

Optical Surfaces is a producer of large diameter, high precision windows for wind tunnel aerodynamic testing.

Aerodynamicists and engineers use wind tunnels to test models of proposed aircraft and engine components. During a test, the model is placed in the test section of the tunnel and air is made to flow past the model. Schlieren imaging is a valuable technique to provide diagnostic information about the ‘invisible’ flow of air around the model.

Benefiting from an ultra-stable production environment and proprietary polishing techniques – Optical Surfaces is able to routinely produce optical windows up to 600mm in diameter with typical wavefront error of lambda/10 and surface finish of 40/20 to 10/5. This precision manufacturing capability in optical materials including BK-7 and fused silica, which offer good homogeneity and transmission from the UV to the Near-IR, combines to provide the perfect wind tunnel optical window to ensure superior Schlieren image quality.

Optical Surfaces has been producing top quality optical windows for more than 50 years and is now accepted as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of these vital optical components for demanding imaging applications. The company’s ISO 9001-2015 approved manufacturing workshops and test facilities are deep underground in a series of tunnels excavated in solid chalk where temperature remains constant and vibration is practically non-existent. With such stable conditions testing, particularly with long path lengths, becomes quantifiable and reliable. Working with these natural advantages is a highly skilled team of craftsmen with a commitment to excellence in both product quality and customer service.

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