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Optical Engineering

Analysis of acousto-optic tunable filter performance for imaging applications
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Paper Abstract

Acousto-optic tunable filters (AOTFs) can be used as spectral filters in multispectral imaging applications. Acousto-optic crystals diffract a single wavelength from a broadband light beam, depending on the applied radio frequency signal. However, experimental measurements show that the actual performance is far from the expected behavior. We present an experimental characterization of several commercial off-the-shelf AOTFs for the implementation of multispectral imaging instruments. The diffraction performance of three bare crystals is compared, while a fourth AOTF crystal is mounted on the optical path of a multispectral imager to evaluate its performance. The experiments show that the behavior of all the analyzed AOTFs differs from the theoretical expectations and presents uneven diffraction efficiency, a Gaussian dependency with the applied power, and a strong nonlinear relationship with the driving signal frequency. The different behavior of each AOTF in terms of all the analyzed parameters shows the necessity for an in-depth characterization of the AOTF performance once mounted on a multispectral imaging device if quantitative measurements are required. Finally, several recommendations for use are derived from these experimental results.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 2010
PDF: 9 pages
Opt. Eng. 49(11) 113203 doi: 10.1117/1.3509243
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 49, Issue 11
Show Author Affiliations
Joan Vila-Francés, Univ. de València (Spain)
Javier Calpe-Maravilla, Univ. de València (Spain)
Luis Gómez-Chova, Univ. de València (Spain)
Julia Amorós-Lopez, Univ. de València (Spain)

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