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 Ltd. 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.