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Proceedings Paper

Multilaser print head
Author(s): Douglas S. Goodman; Jeffrey William Roblee; William T. Plummer; Peter P. Clark
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Paper Abstract

This paper discusses the optical and opto-mechanical design of a new laser head developed at Polaroid for printing Helios binary film for printing high quality medical hard copy images. The head is part of an external drum printer for 14' X 17' film. The pixel size is 84 X 84 μm, produced by four lasers, with the smallest printable spot 3 X 6 micrometer, to produce 4096 gray levels. Two pixels side-by-side are simultaneously printed. The head has eight independent 840 nm diode lasers manufactured by Polaroid. Each laser emits up to 1.1 W over an emission length of about 100 μm, with a particularly uniform nearfield irradiance. The lasers are microlensed to equalize the divergences in the two principal meridians. Each packaged laser is aligned in a field-replaceable illuminator whose output beam, focused at infinity, is bore-sighted in a mechanical cylinder. The illuminators are arranged roughly radially. Eight lenses image the laser nearfields on a multi-facet mirror produced by diamond machining. The mirror facets truncate the beams to give the desired pixel shapes and separations. A reducing afocal relay images the mirror onto the film. The final element is a molded aspheric lens, mounted in an actuator to maintain focus on the film. The focusing unit also comprises a triangulation-based focus sensor. The alignment procedures and fixtures were devised concurrently with the head for manufacturing simplicity. The main physical structure is a casting, into which reference surfaces are machined. All optical subassemblies are attached to this casting, with a mixture of optical alignment and self-location. Semi-kinematic cylinder-in-V methodology is utilized. The active alignment steps are done in a sequence that tends to reduce errors from previous steps.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 December 1998
PDF: 21 pages
Proc. SPIE 3430, Novel Optical Systems and Large-Aperture Imaging, (8 December 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.332462
Show Author Affiliations
Douglas S. Goodman, Polaroid Corp. (United States)
Jeffrey William Roblee, Polaroid Corp. (United States)
William T. Plummer, Polaroid Corp. (United States)
Peter P. Clark, Polaroid Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3430:
Novel Optical Systems and Large-Aperture Imaging
Kevin Dean Bell; Michael K. Powers; Jose M. Sasian, Editor(s)

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