Project TitleEvaluating the Performance of Optics under Vibrational Loading
Track CodeCRANE-200103
Short Description

The U.S. Navy seeks a partner for licensing and collaboration on a method of evaluating optical elements including distinguishing image elements, blur, line of sight jitter, and/or pointing stability.

Tagscameras, Crane, electrical engineering, imaging, lasers, lenses, optics
Posted DateJul 5, 2017 1:05 PM


Kiron Mateti
Josh Borneman
Amanda Lin
Craig Armes
Aaron Cole

Evaluating the Performance of Optics under Vibrational Loading


            Vibration can negatively impact the performance of optical systems used in imaging, laser pointing, and laser designation. Typically, a lens or system of lenses is used with a camera system. During exposure, where light is being collected by a camera mounted on a platform, if either the platform or an object being imaged moves, the resulting image may be blurred as a function of exposure time and relative motion between platform and target. If every element in the imaging system moves together, a resulting image will be clear. However, if there is relative motion of a lens, a camera element, or an imaging system’s target the result will be blurring.

Liquid lenses provide better capabilities over solid lenses because they can change focus or tilt using voltage without conventional mechanical elements. However, they can suffer from undesirable effects due to vibration. One approach to reducing the effects of vibration on liquid lenses is to reduce the size of the lens. However, light collection and imaging capabilities are reduced as the size is reduced, thus limiting the ability to use the lenses.

Technology Summary

NSWC Crane has designed a test method for evaluating optical elements for resolution to distinguish image elements, blur, line of sight jitter, and/or pointing stability. The test system includes a vibration loading system, an acceleration sensor, and a mount for the system under test. An illumination target emits light that passes through the optical element’s lens and is captured by the imaging system. A light control system controls the illumination target system based on activation command and a test control system.  The data is synchronized with acceleration sensor data and analyzed real-time or post-processing.


  • Evaluation of environmental effects on liquid lenses
  • Provides a test system for accurate, un-biased results

Potential Applications

  • Liquid lenses
  • Solid lenses
  • Imaging industry

Stage of Development

Technology Readiness Level: 4


Web Links

Contact Information

For more information, please contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at


File Name Description
Tech Profile_200103 None Download
CRANE-200103_9,599,532 None Download

Intellectual Property

Patent Number Issue Date Type Country of Filing
9,599,532 Mar 21, 2017 Utility United States