Optical Telescope Assemblies

Optical telescope assemblies (OTA) are key subsystems of optical sensors systems. Performance requirements for OTA boresight and image quality often require stable precision positioning of optical elements within microns, with optical surface precision within nanometers. SDL provides OTAs designed with integrated structural thermal optical performance (STOP) analysis and operational environment test verification to ensure performance is met in the mission’s operational environment.


  • Optical design and analysis (Code V, Zemax, OSLO)
  • Stray light design and analysis (Zemax, ASAP)
  • Opto-mechanical design and analysis (SigFit, MatLab)
  • Structural design and analysis (Solid Edge, FEMAP/NASTRAN)
  • Thermal (Thermal Desktop)
  • Alignment (interferometers, theodolites, laser tracker, laser distance meter (LDM), autocollimators, alignment telescopes, coordinate measuring machines (CMM))
  • Test (laboratory interferometric image quality, space environment image quality, cryogenic laboratory image quality, stray light, and full sensor optical performance testing)



Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

The WISE cryogenically-cooled infrared telescope provided a complete stellar infrared map more than 1,000 times more detailed than previous surveys.


Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry

SABER, a 10-channel infrared (1.27 to 16.9 µm) radiometer, is one of four instruments on NASA's TIMED mission, which is dedicated to study the dynamics of the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere (MLT) portion of the Earth's atmosphere.


Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere Solar Occultation for Ice Experiment

SOFIE is one of three instruments aboard the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) satellite. AIM’s objective is to study polar mesospheric clouds and the environment in which they form.


Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer-Focal Plane Opto-Mechanical Assembly

SDL designed, fabricated, and tested the re-imaging optics and focal plane mechanical support/cryogenic isolation FPOMA for TES, a high-resolution infrared imaging Fourier transform spectrometer.


Spatial Infrared Imaging Telescope

SPIRIT III was the infrared sensor aboard MDA’s Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX). This long-wave infrared instrumentation package consisted of a high spatial resolution radiometer, a high spectral resolution interferometer-spectrometer, and an extremely high-off-axis-rejection telescope.


Digital Imaging Space Camera

SDL’s DISC is a one mega-pixel, visible, monochromatic imager that uses less than 1.5 W of power and is built with radiation-hardened components.


SDL’s EyePod is an intelligent, geo-aware, day/night-stabilized imaging sensor system for deployment aboard Group III unmanned aircraft systems.