Choosing a Uniblitz Shutter System

It can be an overwhelming decision when trying to determine which Optical Shutter will perform best for a particular application. There are hundreds of options and customizations available within the Uniblitz® shutter systems.  Pinpointing which options are required for a particular application can help with determining which shutter series will be best for the system. 

When is a shutter necessary? The short answer: Any time one needs to gate, block, or limit light. However, optical and laser shutters can be used in a wide array of applications across many fields of science. Some of these may include:

  • Nonuniformity correction (NUC) or black-reference calibration          
  • Exposure control
  • Light-source selection: A shutter is used when an application contains several fiber-optic or other light sources or sources. The shutter is used to select one of the sources.
  • Protection of a sensor from foreign objects, dust, dirt, etc.
  • Accurate and repeatable discrete exposures from a continuous light source or continuous-wave laser
  • Control of a laser or select pulses from a laser
  • Laser-safety applications: in this case, a shutter is used to provide a fast turn-off of a laser when an interlock mechanism is triggered.
  • Preventing smearing: A shutter is used to prevent this effect when the imager does not have an electronic shutter, and the camera moves relative to the acquisition of the image.

To determine further what Uniblitz Shutter Series will be applicable to a system, we can break down which series associate with different applications:

Laser Systems – LS, ES6, DSS Series                
X-Ray Imaging – XRS Series       
Infrared Imaging – DSS, NS Series         
Microscopy – VS, NS Series  
Astronomy – CS90HS, VS35S, NS65B, NS45B, CS65S, CS45S, MS150B Series
Imaging Devices & Cameras – VS, CS, DSS, FS Series
Iris – A125 Auto Iris Series
Vacuum – CS, FS, VS, LS, NS35B, NS45B, XRS Series 
Larger Aperture – CS65, CS90HS, MS150B Series

If applications require specific options, shutter series can be broken down further:

Shutters offered in aperture sizes ranging from 2mm to 150mm
Fastest Speed: LS Series
Longest Life: ES6 Series (25-million-cycle guaranteed)
Small Form Fitting Design: ES6 series, DSS10 series
Bi-Stable (B): does not require power to hold the shutter blades in the active state
Uni-Stable (S): requires power to hold the shutter blades in the active state

Once the Shutter series has been determined, you can then decide on different options to be included:

– Housed or Unhoused
– Electronic Sync: feedback signal (through the driver utilized) after the shutter transfers to the open state
– Encapsulated Coil: Vacuum application
– Blade Options (Black Teflon©, Reflective Z or ZM blades, etc)

Shutter systems would not be complete without the use of a Shutter Driver. All shutter drivers are required for all Uniblitz shutter series except our FS series. The FS series only requires 5VDC to operate. Driver units available per series: 

VCM-D1/VMM-D3/VMM-D4: CS, VS, LS & XRS Series
VED24: Drives most uni-stable & bi-stable shutter offerings 
D880C: CS, VS, LS, & XRS Series
ED12DSS: NS, DSS, ES6 Series
AIC10: AI25 Auto Iris

If our standard options are not ideal for an application, we pride ourselves on our ability to offer shuttering solutions to all our customers. If you can’t find specifically what you need among our standard products, rest assured knowing our custom capabilities are the most versatile in the industry. From alternative shutter blade coatings to completely custom product designs, we will strive to make a Uniblitz shutter system work for you.

Contact our Sales/Technical team at for any questions to help you with all your shuttering needs!