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Proceedings Paper

The art of specifying optics for scatter
Author(s): John C. Stover
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Paper Abstract

Light scatter is a bothersome source of noise in many optical systems. As one example, this is particularly true for telescopes and weapons systems where imaging, tracking and identifying relatively weak signals in the presence of much stronger light sources is critical. As a general rule optical components are not specified for scatter. Instead, almost across the optics industry roughness specifications are routinely (and inadequately) substituted. Issues include: misuse (or ignoring) spatial frequency bandwidths for roughness specifications, using one dimensional roughness statistics for two dimensional applications, ignoring profilometer high frequency roll off (where a lot of scatter is generated) and ignoring the effects surface coatings have on scatter. As an example most roughness measurements extend only to spatial frequencies of about 0.1 μm-1, which corresponds to visible scatter only about five degrees from the reflected specular beam. Scatter into the rest of the hemisphere is ignored. The problems are not easy. Measuring every optic for scatter at the wavelengths of use, for example, is not a reasonable solution. This paper reviews the relevant technical issues and indicates a cost effective solution that will drop optical noise floors if implemented by both government contractors and their vendors.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 September 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6291, Optical Systems Degradation, Contamination, and Stray Light: Effects, Measurements, and Control II, 62910O (7 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.693206
Show Author Affiliations
John C. Stover, The Scatter Works, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6291:
Optical Systems Degradation, Contamination, and Stray Light: Effects, Measurements, and Control II
O. Manuel Uy; John C. Fleming; Michael G. Dittman, Editor(s)

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