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Optical Design Review Checklist: Components

In our technical analytical work with clients at Kinetic River, there are many questions that come up again and again–for example, in design reviews. We have developed a series of checklists that we use to evaluate the nature and quality of technology and intellectual property. This example illustrates our design review process for the case of optical components: the general approach is to get the broad picture first, then drill down to the specific technical attributes. By the end, we have enough information to put the component in context, and dive deeper into relevant technical details.

Optical Component Design Review Checklist

1. Is the component used to…

☐  a. Generate light?
☐  b. Modify light?
☐  c. Detect light?

2. Is the component commercially available?

☐  a. If yes, from what manufacturer(s)? Which part number(s)
☐  b. If no, has the technology already been demonstrated? What paper(s)? What patent(s)?

3. What is the component’s …

☐  a. Performance repeatability?
☐  b. Manufacturing reproducibility?
☐  c. Operational reliability?
☐  d. Estimated cost?

4. What are the component’s performance characteristics (as relevant)?

☐  a. Optical insertion loss?
☐  b. Spectral transmission profile?
☐  c. Spectral reflection profile?
☐  d. Clear aperture?
☐  e. Spatial uniformity?
☐  f. Stability over time?
☐  g. Stability over temperature?
☐  h. Birefringent effects?
☐  i. Dispersive effects?
☐  j. Diffractive effects?
☐  k. Nonlinear optical effects?

5. What drives selection of this technology over alternatives?

☐  a. Performance? What aspect(s)?
☐  b. Cost?
☐  c. Reliability?
☐  d. Size?
☐  e. Lead time?
☐  f. Intellectual property considerations?
☐  g. Have used it before?

6. Is the function performed by this component…

☐  critical
☐  ancillary

to the overall performance of the system?

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