Optical EngineeringOptimization of a miniature short-wavelength infrared objective optics of a short-wavelength infrared to visible upconversion layer attached to a mobile-devices visible camera
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The use of dual cameras in parallax in order to detect and create 3-D images in mobile devices has been increasing over the last few years. We propose a concept where the second camera will be operating in the short-wavelength infrared (SWIR—1300 to 1800 nm) and thus have night vision capability while preserving most of the other advantages of dual cameras in terms of depth and 3-D capabilities. In order to maintain commonality of the two cameras, we propose to attach to one of the cameras a SWIR to visible upconversion layer that will convert the SWIR image into a visible image. For this purpose, the fore optics (the objective lenses) should be redesigned for the SWIR spectral range and the additional upconversion layer, whose thickness is <1 μm. Such layer should be attached in close proximity to the mobile device visible range camera sensor (the CMOS sensor). This paper presents such a SWIR objective optical design and optimization that is formed and fit mechanically to the visible objective design but with different lenses in order to maintain the commonality and as a proof-of-concept. Such a SWIR objective design is very challenging since it requires mimicking the original visible mobile camera lenses’ sizes and the mechanical housing, so we can adhere to the visible optical and mechanical design. We present in depth a feasibility study and the overall optical system performance of such a SWIR mobile-device camera fore optics design.