This section provides an overview for corner cubes as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 12 corner cube manufacturers and their company rankings. Here are the top-ranked corner cube companies as of December, 2023: 1.Shandong Yanggu Constant Crystal Optics, Inc., 2.Precision Optical.
Corner Cubes are devices that retroreflect incident light back in the direction of incidence.
The reflected image is inverted. Unlike mirrors, which are retroreflective only at an angle of incidence of 0°, Corner Cubes' retroreflectivity is effective even at large angles of incidence. This feature is frequently used for difficult optical-axis adjustment tasks or to reduce working time.
Corner Cube has three reflective surfaces. In general, the maximum allowable angle of incidence at which the phenomenon of total reflection of light can be obtained is theoretically limited to 5.7°.
Corner Cubes are used as reflectors for laser-based length measuring machines. They were developed to measure the distance between the Moon and the Earth, and were placed on the lunar surface when the Apollo spacecraft landed on the Moon.
There are many things around us that use the same property. The red reflector on the back of a bicycle or the reflectors (orange or colorless) on the road or on the side of the road are made up of many very small reflectors. Recently, smaller sealed versions are also available, allowing Corner Cubes to be used in a wide variety of locations.
Corner Cubes mounted on vehicles and roads are often made of plastic, and highly accurate Corner Cubes can be used for surveying. Many cubes are made of glass, and their length can be measured from the time they return to the laser beam.
The three faces of a Corner Cube are placed in an orthogonal relationship to each other. The three planes are xy-plane, yz-plane, and zx-plane, respectively. For example, when light is reflected from the xy-plane, only the z-component of the 3-dimensional vector component indicating the direction of light travels has its sign reversed, while the x- and y-components remain unchanged. Similarly, the sign of the x component is reversed in the yz-plane and the sign of the y component is reversed in the zx-plane.
Due to this property, rays of light that are reflected sequentially in the three planes and whose incoming direction vector is [a, b, c] are [-a, -b, -c] when inverted. In other words, it returns light in the direction it came from. There are a total of six possible combinations of the order in which the incident light is inverted, determined by the position of the incident rays, resulting in the sign of all components being inverted regardless of the order in which they are reflected.
Devices that reflect microwaves emitted from a radar in the direction of the radar antenna are called radar corner reflectors. Three conductive metal sheets or screens are pasted together at 90° to reflect incoming radio waves from the front in a parallel manner. However, the reflective surface must be larger than the incident wavelength to function.
Reversal mirrors are made by applying the Corner Cube principle. A reversal mirror is two mirrors combined at right angles. In a reversal mirror, the left and right sides of the image are reversed, but in a reversal mirror, the left and right sides are kept the same.
There are two types of Corner Cubes: hollow and prismatic. Both have the same basic structure that uses reflections on three surfaces.
Due to the "optical path difference" caused by the relative speeds of the observation station and the satellite, a slightly shifted orthogonality is more effective than a reflector with an exact orthogonality. Many of the reflectors actually used on satellites have their orthogonality intentionally shifted.
Corner Cube Reflector, Cube corners, and Corner reflector are other names for Corner Cube. Corner Cube Prisms and Corner Cube Mirrors are also called Corner Cube Prisms or Corner Cube Mirrors, depending on the reflection principle.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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ORAFOL Fresnel Optics GmbH designs and manufactures polymer microstructured optical components in a variety of different types and specifications. As a market leader we offer an integrated R&D and production expertise with the complete chain of optical design, tool fabrication, precision polymer replication based on compression and injection molding or siliconce on glass (SOG) technology as well as a wide range of finishing processes (hard coatings, metal and interference coatings, lamination and custom trimming). We supply customers throughout the world and our components are used in many different industries, such as the lighting, display, solar power, automotive, optical sensor and industrial image processing markets.
Precision Optical, founded in 1959 and based in Rochester, New York is a manufacturer of optical networking solutions. The company specialises in the manufacturing of optical flats, custom prisms, alignment cubes, solid glass rangefinders and catalogue optics. The company also provides a superior level of filters and AR coatings. The company has a 41,655-square-foot facility, located in Costa Messa, California. Founded by Chester and Ruth Berry, the company uses superior production methods like the use of moulded blanks, replication coatings and optical contacting. The company is also engaged in selling solid retro-reflectors to the surveying and space industries.
CHUO PRECISION INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD. (Chuo Seiki Kabushiki Kaisha), founded in 1955, is a Japanese manufacturer and supplier headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, specializing in precise positioning units as well as optical machines and equipment. The company’s portfolio includes automatic and motorized stages and actuators, manual mechanical stages, stage accessories, and controllers. Automatic stage applications include sample table of laser repair and mapping systems, whereas manual stage applications encompass camera position adjustment for glass substrate and/or film inspection systems and prober position adjustment. Further offerings include microscopes and tool scopes, automation products for microscopes, as well as optical accessories, components, and instruments.
COE Optics, founded in San Diego, CA, in 2008 is a manufacturer and supplier of optics and optical components. The company's product portfolio includes Laser Diode Optics, Achromatic Lenses, IR Windows, Corner Cube Retroreflectors, and Rod Lenses. Their products are used in test & measurement quality assurance applications, the automation of manufacturing processes, and research. The company serves markets including Medical and Healthcare, Aerospace and Defense, Consumer Goods, Industrial Manufacturing and Construction and Building.
WTS PHOTONICS CO., LTD. is a manufacturer and supplier of optical components and laser crystals that was established in 2009 and is headquartered in Fuzhou, China. The company produces many optical components, including lenses, mirrors, filters, and prisms. Its products such as high accuracy corner cube prisms, triplet achromatic lenses, precision optical glass achromatic lenses (doublets), high accuracy l-bar mini prism, high precision glass x-cube and RGB prisms, and YAG laser crystal are used by a number of industries, as diverse as laser, semiconductor, and imaging industries. The company’s solutions include optical processing, optical coating, optical assembly, and optical design.
Holmarc Opto-Mechatronics Ltd., founded in 1993 and based in Kochi, India, is a company that specializes in the design and manufacture of scientific instruments and devices. The company’s product line includes many items such as optomechanics, rotation stages, optics, and imaging and measuring instruments. They serve a multiple range of sectors including research, food, agriculture, and education. Their products have applications in a wide array of scientific and engineering fields including space science, nuclear research, life science, biomedical engineering, and precision manufacturing.