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Proceedings Paper

Design of reflector contours to satisfy photometric criteria using physically-realizable light sources
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Paper Abstract

Traditionally reflector design has been confined to the use of surfaces defined in terms of conic sections, assuming that all light sources can be considered to be point sources. In the middle of the twentieth century, it was recognized that major improvements could be made if the shape of the reflector was designed to produce a desired distribution of light form an actual light source. Cylindrical reflectors were created which illuminated airport runways using fluorescent lamps in such a way that pilots could make visual landings safely even in fog. These reflector contours were called macrofocal parabolic cylinders. Other new reflector contours introduced were macrofocal elliptic cylinders which confined the light to long rectangles. Surfaces of revolution the fourth degree were also developed which made possible uniform floodlighting of a circular region. These were called horned and peaked quartics. The optimum solution of the automotive head lighting problem has not yet been found. The paper concludes with a discussion of the possibility of developing reflectors which are neither cylindrical nor rotational but will produce the optimum field of view for the automobile driver both in clear weather and in fog.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 November 2001
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4446, Nonimaging Optics: Maximum Efficiency Light Transfer VI, (19 November 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.448812
Show Author Affiliations
Domina Eberle Spencer, Univ. of Connecticut (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4446:
Nonimaging Optics: Maximum Efficiency Light Transfer VI
Roland Winston, Editor(s)

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