Students and professor work on nanoprobe sensor in Optics lab.
Welcome to the Center for Applied Optics

The Center for Applied Optics (CAO) advances optical science and engineering research and development in support of high technology educational, industrial and government interests and requirements. The center includes eleven faculty and staff, with twenty-three affiliated faculty and staff from UAH's academic departments.

The CAO provides optical and optomechanical design and analysis, optical fabrication including diamond turning and both standard and CNC polishing, optical metrology, holography, and testing and prototyping of state-of-the-art optical components and systems. Center researchers are exploring unique applications of optics for numerous space, military and industrial uses. Experienced research personnel and extensive laboratory resources make the CAO uniquely qualified to perform state-of-the-art research.

The Optics Building was carefully designed and built specifically for Optics research. There are four floors, a building within a building, with the central core of laboratories vibration isolated from the external office and student space. The building contains many research laboratories, classrooms, meeting rooms and offices for the Center for Applied Optics, Nano and Micro Devices Laboratory, the Department of Physics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.

Our curriculum covers both the latest technology and traditional art equipment, all taught by working artists with real-world experience. And with our professional development courses, internships, and hands-on exhibition opportunities, you’ll get the academic foundation – and practical experience – you need to succeed in an arts career.

About the CAO - PDF Presentation

Project Spotlight

GiGA Pixel Camera

The CAO has enjoyed a rich history of optical and opto-mechanical design and fabrication. We have developed NASA flight hardware, refurbished military hardware and supported return to flight.

View some of our recent collaborative efforts.