Image optics

Design, development and manufacturing

Image optics

In recent years, optics and imaging systems have made a very significant qualitative leap, which has allowed them to be applied in different sectors, with a relevant direct impact on the economy and society: high precision industrial inspection equipment and systems, detection of risk situations (fires, overheating of industrial plants…), study and analysis of microparticles, experiments with atoms…

At ASE Optics, we offer fully integrated optical imaging systems for product development or the execution of research and development projects.

Thanks to our extensive knowledge in the design and manufacture of imaging optics systems, we respond to the needs of both private companies and research centers, both nationally and internationally.

Optical payloads for NewSpace
Microscope objectives
Spotter SWIR
Synchrotron targets

How do we work?


For this reason, ASE Optics Europe provides a tailor-made solution that meets the desired requirements through effective technical support adapted to the customer’s needs.

Our experience in design, development and manufacturing of different imaging systems has been one of the keys that has allowed us to continue innovating in order to offer complete, customized and precision solutions, adaptable to any application, requirement and project.

Optical payloads for NewSpace

ASE Optics offers optical payloads and targets for Earth observation, agricultural monitoring and other new space applications. With these systems, our customers get the images and data they need for their space missions, because we work based on the requirements they need.

We develop fully integrated optical systems and optical payloads that strike the optimal balance between technical performance, delivery times and costs.

SWIR target for Earth observation

Our SWIR lens can be integrated into cameras for Earth observation applications. The optical system is configured with four aspherical elements, avoiding the use of doublets, which makes it more robust and suitable for extreme environmental conditions.

  • Certified vacuum compatibility.
  • Athermal optical system.
  • Stable polychromatic MTF over the entire operating temperature range.

Our experience in the NewSpace sector

This SWIR target is already in orbit, integrated in the DRAGO-2 camera (developed by IACTEC-Space), launched on January 3 on Space X’s Transporter-6 mission. This system offers high image resolution, reaching 50 meters per pixel.

The first images obtained are a success, and demonstrate the quality of the SWIR objective lens fully designed and integrated by ASE Optics.

LWIR optical systems for terrestrial surveillance

ASE Optics is currently participating in the MORERA project, for the development of a very compact, low F# LWIR camera to provide high resolution imaging at the farm level. This camera will be compatible with Cubesats and can be adapted to other small sats and NewSpace missions.

Integrated optical systems and payloads for NewSpace applications

We have experience in the design and development of complete, integrated optical and photonic systems for harsh environments in wide spectral ranges from near-UV to LWIR. Our solutions go beyond optics:

  • Development of complete optical and photonic systems, including optics, optomechanics, optoelectronics and image processing software.
  • Systems integration, assembly and validation.
  • Mass production.

ASE Optics is currently participating in the MORERA project, for the development of a very compact, low F# LWIR camera to provide high resolution imaging at the farm level. We assist our clients in their contribution to the democratization of access to spatial data.

Custom-made microscope objectives

ASE Optics has extensive experience in the design of custom microscope objectives with large numerical aperture, wide field of view (FOV) and/or specific and special material constraints (non-magnetic, hydrophobic materials…). We design and develop custom microscope objectives and optical systems for large research centers, OEM companies and other customers requiring complex, tailor-made solutions.

When the microscope objectives on the market do not meet the specific needs of an application, we offer the best solution, both technically and cost-wise.

Development of different types of microscope objectives

The objective is one of the most important parts of a microscope, as it plays a central role in obtaining the correct images of the inspected elements. Combining our expertise in optical design and the most advanced manufacturing techniques, ASE Optics is able to design and manufacture microscope objectives that meet all customer requirements, offering the optimum balance between technical quality and resource efficiency.

We offer solutions in:

  • Multi-photon microscopy
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Optical design of immersion microscope objectives
  • STED microscopy
  • Deep Tissue Imaging Microscopy
  • Microscopy and analysis of quantum structures
  • Super-resolution microscopy
  • Failure analysis of structural materials
  • Fluorescence microscopy for live cell inspection.
To achieve the best results, our team of experts always selects the most suitable materials, depending on each application: high quality glasses, with high refractive index, low dispersion, are used to reduce chromatic aberrations, astigmatism, geometric distortion, aspherical aberrations… thanks to our design process, we offer the most efficient solutions for the production of custom-made microscope objectives.

Our process for developing custom microscope objectives


Although each custom lens design and development project is different, in general, at ASE Optics we apply a standardized process that guarantees the best results:

Design: Analysis of customer requirements.

Such as image quality, working distance, focal length, spectral range, field of view or numerical aperture. Taking these parameters into account, we configure the lens system, choose the appropriate materials and carry out design optimization work, optical performance analysis. The phase ends with the creation of the specification document and lens design drawings, including optics and optomechanics.

Component manufacturing

Taking into account each customer’s requirements, we select the most efficient method. During this phase we have partners specialized in the manufacture of lenses and their coatings.

Customized target assembly

We have the equipment necessary to assemble and align lenses accurately and cost-effectively.

Quality control

All our systems undergo the relevant quality controls to ensure that each target meets the required requirements and specifications.

SWIR target design

The recent appearance on the market of small detectors with large focal plane array makes shortwave infrared (SWIR) imaging increasingly a key element, mainly for long-range surveillance equipment.

We are experts in the design and development of custom SWIR targets (Spotters) for surveillance and detection applications.

Advantages of SWIR lenses

SWIR offers many advantages over traditional imaging in the visible (0.4-0.7µm). The SWIR spectral range allows the user to detect laser designators operating at 1060 nm and 1500nm and is also the most suitable range for seeing through smoke and seeing camouflaged targets.

There is great interest in the market for the design of small, lightweight SWIR cameras for integration into UAVs, drones and also for use as handheld cameras and in security systems.

Challenges in the design of SWIR targets and Spotters

Some of the security and defense applications for SWIR cameras include handheld and/or airborne systems, with long range detection requirements, but where volume and weight restrictions are also important.

On the other hand, since sensor technology is constantly evolving and developing, the optics for these sensors must often be compact, meet user requirements and achieve minimum dimensions. At ASE Optics, we design and assemble SWIR lenses and SWIR Spotters with reduced size and volume, achieving the highest optical quality:

  • For 1280*720*12 µm detectors
  • Robust design suitable for unmanned aerial applications.

Image captured with SWIR Spotter
Building located 7 km away.

Synchrotron targets

Synchrotron radiation technology is a technology that is currently used intensively. There are several synchrotron radiation centers and laboratories around the world, all of which require constant improvements in the technologies, equipment and instruments they use. Optics and photonics are two of the key technologies for the activity of these technology centers. They need high-performance systems, with customized optics, specially designed for their applications. Optical systems and designs that can be seamlessly integrated into your installations.

Synchrotron objectives are used to capture the visible light generated by a kintillation screen after it is irradiated by diffused synchrotron light after incident on a sample at the beamlines in a synchrotron reactor (i.e. ESRF). In this way, user scientists can reconstruct tomographic images of samples, such as micro fossils or tissues, to study their properties.
We designed and developed custom targets for the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), Grenoble, France.

Our experience: optical systems for synchrotrons

ASE Optics has been contracted on several occasions by ESRF Synchrotron for the design and development of different lenses and relays for its research lines.

Custom synchrotron lenses

Due to the radiation generated, the lenses have a replaceable window with a lead part to protect the optics against radiation and thus extend the service life in this hostile environment. Due to the nature of image reconstruction, it was necessary to ensure very low distortion levels, even below 0.1% in some cases.

Basic specifications of these objectives:

  • For use in synchrotron radiation tomography, after the kintillation screen.
  • Replaceable radiation shielding window
  • 400mm, 150mm, or customized focal lengths
  • Distorsion <.5%
  • Compatible with CCD/CMOS Full-frame cameras
  • Mechanical interface to be defined by the user

Custom synchrotron relays

ASE Optics made a series of relay lenses to give more utility to existing optical systems, allowing to upgrade the sensors used, without losing resolution due to non-compatible optics. The quality of the relay lenses is such that the contrast quality does not deteriorate, while maintaining good optical transmission. The mechanical interface was made in such a way as to facilitate its introduction into the beamline without affecting the existing elements.

Basic specifications of these relays:

  • For use in synchrotron radiation tomography, after the kintillation screen.
  • Replaceable radiation shielding window
  • Magnification 0.5x, 0.8x, or custom magnifications
  • Distorsion <.5%
  • Mechanical interface to be defined by the user

What do they say about us?

Here are some reviews from our customers about ASE Optics

ASE Optics has achieved a system that increases magnification by 44% and improves optical quality by an order of magnitude but without changing the overall cost of the product.

Luis A. Ruiz-Ozaita

Podol Meditec

The innovation capacity of the ASE Optics Europe team is impressive. Thanks to their contribution, we achieved a viable and 100% novel solution for the optical system of our project.

Esther Hurtós


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ASE Optics Europe

Carrer Cerdanya, 44
08820 El Prat de Llobregat

Call us at

937 37 98 63

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