Bodkin Design builds custom microscope for FiberQA fiber optic inspection system

Fiber Defects

Bodkin Design builds custom microscope for FiberQA fiber optic inspection system

Fiber Optic Inspection

Example defects identified on a fiber optic connector. Presented at IEEE AVFOP 2014 conference by Doug Wilson.

Bodkin Design & Engineering has custom-engineered an optical inspection camera for FiberQA, including design, prototype, and manufacturing of pre-production units. BD&E’s camera sub-assembly is part of a larger system that includes automated functions for translation, inspection, and cleaning of ganged fiber optic connectors. This particular device is designed for low profile, multi-fiber connectors in relatively inaccessible installation zones. FiberQA has ordered additional production units following successful testing of the prototypes.

Fiber optics are at the core of the telecom industry, allowing the world to stay connected through telephone, internet, and cable TV. The Mil-Aero industry also increasingly relies on fiber optics to perform mission-critical tasks that require innovative designs. For cables that are buried or underwater or in difficult to reach spaces on planes or ships, installing a bad or dirty fiber connector can have costly consequences. The automated inspection and cleaning systems from FiberQA ensure the connector end faces meet industry standards for visual quality during production or repair activities.

Bodkin Design’s sub-assembly, with its compact design, and high resolution optical performance, is a central element of the low profile AVIT-rh product. It was designed to meet a number of FiberQA requirements including: size, resolution, Field of View (FOV) and working distance (WD). Fiber inspection micro-scopes typically use blue light for improved contrast, but in many cases the optics are not optimized for this wavelength. The newly designed custom microscope, with built in Kohler illuminator, was corrected to provide diffraction limited performance under blue illumination. The large FOV enables imaging of multiple fibers on MT ferrules, while the long working distance allows for inspection of ferrules embedded inside connectors. Combined with the AVIT fiber endface imaging and processing software, it enables reliable detection of defects as small as 1.5 microns in diameter.

Joe Salemi, VP of Sales and Marketing stated, “Our Company always strives for excellence in all of our products. Providing reliable quality assurance is of utmost importance in our industry, and requires top-of-the line components to create the most accurate results. In order to provide automated inspection and cleaning in very difficult to reach spaces, we needed a camera that could work within our small AVIT-rh head design. Our relationship with Bodkin has allowed us to make our AVIT-rh system a reality, providing the best probe-style fiber optic inspection system to Mil-Aero companies seeking fully automated, reliable, cost effective testing of multiple ferrule connectors with both single and multiple termini ferrules.”

Principal of Bodkin Design & Engineering, Andrew Bodkin, adds, “We are grateful for the excellent business relationship we have with FiberQA. We were able to analyze the optical design requirements presented, consider their issues, and work with their design team to devise a low-profile, system-level solution.”

Bodkin Design & Engineering has been recently working with MassMEP, a resource committed to manufacturing growth in the state of Massachusetts, to grow their commercial business profile. The Company considers this particular opportunity a keystone to success in increasing their manufacturing capabilities, as well as helping the state to reach their goals.


About Bodkin Design & Engineering

Bodkin Design and Engineering, LLC has been providing electro-optic engineering and custom manufacturing of special equipment as well as test and R&D services since 2003. Headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts, the company serves the international OEM, commercial, military, and research communities. Specializing in photonic and mechanical systems, BD&E has overseen the successful introduction of products in a wide range of markets from calibration equipment for infrared imaging, to a patented line of video rate hyperspectral imagers. To learn more, visit us at

For more information or questions about products and pricing, please contact Bodkin Design & Engineering at

About FiberQA, LLC

FiberQA is the industry’s most innovative developer of automated fiber optic inspection and cleaning systems, with headquarters in Old Lyme, CT. FiberQA has created, developed, manufactured, and patented automated test equipment for use in Mil-Aero, Telecom, and Datacom companies worldwide. To learn more about FiberQA, visit

For information or questions about FiberQA’s automated fiber optic inspection and cleaning systems, please contact the Sales Team at