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Optical Engineering

Using ZEMAX Image Analysis and user-defined surfaces for projection lens design and evaluation for Digital Light Processing projection systems
Author(s): Duane Scott Dewald
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Paper Abstract

This paper discusses the use of ZEMAX's Image Analysis feature to verify and predict the performance of Digital Light Processingâ„¢ (DLP) projection-lens designs. The main goals are to visualize the effects of lateral color, axial color, and the remaining Seidel aberrations on the focus of small DLP pixels on the screen in actual use. In many cases there is a discrepancy between what the projector user would define as "good pixel focus'' or "sharp focus'' and metrics that would determine focus quality or resolution for the lens designer. ZEMAX Image Analysis is a valuable tool for lens design and visualizing lens performance before a prototype lens is built. In addition, the user-defined offset surface is discussed, which was developed to simulate the separate focus of red, green, and blue DMDsâ„¢ in three-chip displays. This feature is used to simulate the effect of interchangeable lenses, as each lens has a different axial color characteristic and the depth of field is small, or to verify the compatibility of a lens design on a projector prefocused using a different lens. As display pixel sizes shrink, this simulation technique becomes more useful for evaluating projection lens designs, manufacturing tolerances, and ergonomic concerns during assembly.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 2000
PDF: 6 pages
Opt. Eng. 39(7) doi: 10.1117/1.602560
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 39, Issue 7
Show Author Affiliations
Duane Scott Dewald, Texas Instruments Inc. (United States)


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