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Proceedings Paper

Advances in infrared lens characterization: measurement of MTF using common undersampled IR systems
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Paper Abstract

The modulation transfer function (MTF) measurement has been a staple of optics testing for many years. Obtaining a highly accurate measurement of the MTF of a lens, however, has remained a challenge for a number of reasons. Traditional MTF tests give a measure of overall system performance, rather than characterizing individual parts such as the lens. Also, the theoretical performance of the optics generally outstrips FPA/camera performance by a wide margin. This typically requires intricate hardware setups to quantify lens performance, such as specialized single-detector systems. These systems, however, are very difficult to use, have few other applications, and are quite expensive. This paper will describe an improved technique for measuring the optical quality of infrared optical systems, as well as preliminary research regarding individual component (i.e. - lens) MTF. In particular, the methodology presented will expand upon the traditional "tilted slit" technique and demonstrate an improved test capability for characterization of MTF and other optical unit under test (UUT) performance parameters. We will describe a methodology which uses Gaussian energy profiling and novel collection optics to deliver an MTF measurement capability with resolution and usability superior to that of single point measurement techniques. The paper will also discuss the optical system requirements and mathematical algorithms required to provide a fast, accurate, and high-resolution FFT/MTF capability, and support for a range of other optical UUT characterization modes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 April 2007
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 6543, Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XVIII, 654314 (30 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.720254
Show Author Affiliations
Colin Nichols, StingRay Optics (United States)
Paul Bryant, Left Coast Consulting (United States)
Chris Alexay, StingRay Optics (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6543:
Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XVIII
Gerald C. Holst, Editor(s)

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