SMA Optical Technologies is able to provide design of thin films to meet most requirements and is able to have them implemented on prototype systems on a priority basis.
Optical coating offers a higher level of performance to an optical system by enhancing the transmission or reflectivity of the individual surfaces. For instance, most lens assemblies are made up of at least 4 elements, and therefore 8 surfaces, assuming no cemented assemblies.
Many lens assemblies designed by SMA are made up of 8 to 16 elements. If these elements are left uncoated, the Fresnel reflections will only permit 72% of the light to traverse the lens and form a coherent image. The rest of the light scatters within the lens; some exits the lens and degrades the image contrast.
The remedy to this problem is a properly designed set of optical coatings. Reflective coatings can be applied to a wide range of materials and can be applied with a mask such that only part of the optical surface is reflective. Reflective coatings can be "enhanced" with dielectric overcoats to improve their performance over given spectral bands.