Optical design of 'first time right' imaging systems

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Abstract

Today's optical design of imaging systems relies mostly on efficient ray tracing and (local or global) optimization algorithms. Such a traditional 'step-and-repeat' approach to optical design typically requires considerable experience, intuition, and sometimes trial-and-error guesswork. Such a time-consuming design process applies especially, but not only, to freeform optical systems. In particular, the identification of a suitable initial design to then adapt and further optimize has often proven to be a laborious process.

We present our developed 'first time right' design method that allows a highly systematic generation and evaluation of directly calculated imaging optics design solutions and thus enables a rigorous, extensive, and real-time evaluation in solution space. The method is based on differential equations derived from Fermat's principle that can be solved effectively by using a power series method. This approach allows calculating all optical surface coefficients that ensure minimal image blurring for each individual order of aberrations. Such directly calculated optical design solutions can be readily used as starting point for further and final optimization. We demonstrate the deterministic and holistic nature of our method and the streamlined design process for various real-world examples ranging from spherical lens designs to freeform imaging systems. The method allows calculating all optical surface coefficients that ensure minimal image blurring for each individual order of aberrations. We demonstrate the systematic, deterministic, scalable, and holistic character of our method for various design examples ranging from spherical lens designs to freeform imaging systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptical design of 'first time right' imaging systems
EditorsYongtian Wang, Tina E. Kidger, Rengmao Wu
PublisherSPIE
Pages1-7
Number of pages7
Volume12315
ISBN (Print)978-1-5106-5696-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventConference on Optical Design and Testing XII - ELECTR NETWORK
Duration: 5 Dec 202211 Dec 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume12315
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X

Conference

ConferenceConference on Optical Design and Testing XII
Period5/12/2211/12/22

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is funded in part by VUB-OZR, BELSPO-IAP, IOF, Hercules/FWO and the Methusalem foundations.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 SPIE.

Copyright:
Copyright 2023 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Freeform opticsoptical designimaging opticsmathematical opticslens generatorspherical lens design

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