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Proceedings Paper

Optical system performance visualization
Author(s): Marie Cote; Robert J. Pagano; Michael A. Stevenson
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Paper Abstract

Advances in computer technology have dramatically increased raytrace speeds in optical engineering software. Increases in raytrace speed have, in turn, led to new methods for evaluating optical system performance. Designers traditionally evaluate imaging system performance with spot diagrams, MTF plots, ray aberration plots, and distortion plots. These tools are invaluable for two reasons: (1) they provide the information experienced designers need to make design decisions, and (2) they require only a coarse sampling of rays. However, these tools are an indirect representation of imaging system performance. The designer must `wait and see' how the lens performs in situ. With today's computers and optical engineering software, it is now possible to evaluate imaging system performance visually as well as numerically--prior to lens fabrication. This paper will discuss the benefits of visual characterization for various practical optical systems. Distortion, diffraction, imagery with 3D objects, and other optical phenomenon will be evaluated.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 September 1999
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3780, Optical Design and Analysis Software, (27 September 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.363762
Show Author Affiliations
Marie Cote, Breault Research Organization, Inc. (United States)
Robert J. Pagano, Breault Research Organization, Inc. (United States)
Michael A. Stevenson, Breault Research Organization, Inc. and Optical Sciences Ctr./Univ. of Arizona (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3780:
Optical Design and Analysis Software
Richard C. Juergens, Editor(s)

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