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Optical Performance of Commercial Liquid Lens Assemblies in Microgravity
  • Shreeyam Kacker ,
  • Kerri Cahoy
Shreeyam Kacker
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Kerri Cahoy
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Liquid lenses have been utilized in various applications due to their low size, weight, power, and cost. They have potential for use in space applications such as focus compensation, optical communications, and imaging systems. However, liquid lenses have not yet been evaluated for us in space environment. This work focuses on characterizing operational differences of commercially available liquid lenses from Corning Varioptic and Optotune between Earth gravity, microgravity, and hypergravity environments. Results show a linear drift in tip/tilt of 0.79 mrad and 4.13 mrad going from 1 g to 0 g for the Corning Varioptic A-39N0 lens and Optotune EL-16-40-TC-VIS lenses respectively, with lower optical aberrations in microgravity. This work is part of a wider space environment study showing that Corning Varioptic and Optotune’s commercial liquid lenses withstand thermal vacuum, typical low Earth orbit ionizing radiation exposure, and effectively handle high-intensity laser power in a vacuum without significant damage.