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Proceedings Paper

Curved CCDs and their application with astronomical telescopes and stereo panoramic cameras
Author(s): Pradyumna K. Swain; Don J. Channin; Gordon Charles Taylor; Steve A. Lipp; David S. Mark
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Paper Abstract

The creation of curved CCD’s and the mosaicing of contoured CCD’s mounted within the curved focal planes of telescopes and stereo panoramic imaging cameras introduces a revolution in optical design that greatly enhances the scientific potential of such instruments. In the alteration of the primary detection surface within the instrument’s optical system from flat to curved, and precisely matching the applied CCD’s shape to the contour of the curved focal plane, a major increase in the amount of transmittable light at various wavelengths through the system is achieved, thereby enabling multi-spectral ultra-sensitive imaging for a variety of experiments simultaneously, including autostereoscopic image acquisition. For earth-based and space-borne optical telescopes, the advent of curved CCD’s as the principle detectors provides a simplification of the telescope’s adjoining optics, reducing the number of optical elements and the occurrence of optical aberrations associated with large corrective optics used to conform to flat detectors. New astronomical experiments may be devised in the presence of curved CCD applications, including 3 dimensional imaging spectroscopy conducted over multiple wavelengths simultaneously, wide field real-time stereoscopic tracking of remote objects within the solar system at high resolution, and deep field mapping of distant objects such as galaxies with much greater precision and over larger sky regions. Stereo panoramic cameras equipped with arrays of curved CCD’s will require less optical glass and no mechanically moving parts to maintain proper stereo convergence over wider perspective viewing fields than their flat CCD counterparts, making the cameras lighter and faster in their ability to scan and record 3 dimensional objects moving within an industrial or terrain environment. Preliminary experiments conducted at the Sarnoff Corporation indicate the feasibility of curved CCD imagers with acceptable electro-optic integrity. Currently, we are in the process of evaluatingthe electro-optic performance of a curved wafer scale CCD imager. Detailed ray trace modeling and experimental electro-optical data performance obtained from the curved imager will be presented at the conference.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 June 2004
PDF: 21 pages
Proc. SPIE 5301, Sensors and Camera Systems for Scientific, Industrial, and Digital Photography Applications V, (7 June 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.535724
Show Author Affiliations
Pradyumna K. Swain, Sarnoff Corp. (United States)
Don J. Channin, Sarnoff Corp. (United States)
Gordon Charles Taylor, Sarnoff Corp. (United States)
Steve A. Lipp, Sarnoff Corp. (United States)
David S. Mark, Mark Resources LLC (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5301:
Sensors and Camera Systems for Scientific, Industrial, and Digital Photography Applications V
Nitin Sampat; Morley M. Blouke; Ricardo J. Motta, Editor(s)

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