Opto-Mechanical Design and Applications

  • Overview
  • Course Content

Opto-Mechanical Design and Applications

Course Description

Opto-mechanical design brings together the many components required to build optical, electro-optical and infrared hardware. This is the part of the engineering cycle where all design concepts are expected to be resolved into real-world components that can be either bought or built. To prepare learners who are developing, specifying, or purchasing optical, electro-optical, and infrared systems, critical components that are covered in this Opto-Mechanical Design and Applications course include the tolerancing and fabrication limitations of optical components, alignment mechanisms, and "go" or "no-go" decisions on their use. It also covers structural design as it applies to low-strain lens and mirror mounts, as well as kinematic mounts and alignment and structural vibrations under sinusoidal and random production Power Spectral Density (PSD) loads.

Course Content


  • Geometric optics
  • Aberrations and diffraction
  • Optomechanical overview


  • Index of refraction
  • Internal transmission
  • Surface qualities
  • Thickness
  • Tilt/Wedge
  • Clear aperture
  • Tolerancing
  • ISO 10110
  • Design considerations


  • Types of misalignments
  • Requirements
  • Correction, mitigation, and minimization
  • Line-of-Sight (LOS) pointing and boresighting


  • Stress and strain
  • Mechanics
  • Beams
  • Structural geometry and materials
  • Plates (lenses, windows and mirrors)
  • Glass strength
  • Vibrations


  • Thermal-structural design
  • Thermal-optic effects
  • Thermal management


  • Kinematic and semi-kinematic principles
  • Optical mounts
  • Positioning and alignment mechanisms
  • Material selection
  • Mechanical components


  • Structural, thermal, and optical analysis
  • Finite element analysis
  • Material trades

Session Details

  • Special Discounts: Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) employees are eligible to receive a discount.  If you are a GTRI employee, please go to the Organizational Development website and look for the coupon code under GT Professional Development. Review coupon instructions for more information.

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for engineers, scientists, technicians, and managers who are developing, specifying, or purchasing optical, electro-optical, and infrared systems.

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What You Will Learn

  • Key optical concepts
  • Ray tracing and lens prescriptions
  • Fabrication, alignment, and structural design statics and dynamics
  • Thermal design heat sources, conduction, convection, radiation, thermal expansion, thermo-optic effects, active cooling, and typical commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components
  • System design structural-thermal-optical-performance (STOP) analysis, wavefront, and logistics outfitting system error budgets
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How You Will Benefit

  • Understand the tolerance and fabrication limitations of optical components.
  • Gain experience in developing optical component drawings using the ISO 10110 standard.
  • Know alignment mechanisms and their limitations.
  • Estimate structural static-loading effects on the performance of an optical system.
  • Use PSD curves to estimate dynamic-loading effects.
  • Estimate thermal effects on the performance of an optical system.
  • Select typical COTS components for alignment, lens mounting, thermal management, and shock and vibration control.
  • Utilize the results of an integrated STOP analysis.
  • Taught by Experts in the Field icon
    Taught by Experts in the Field
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The course schedule was well-structured with a mix of lectures, class discussions, and hands-on exercises led by knowledgeable and engaging instructors.

- Abe Kani


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