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Proceedings Paper

A Diffraction Limited Fiber Optic Lens
Author(s): Robert J. Magee
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Paper Abstract

One limitation of fiber optic bundles presently in use for relaying optical images from plane to plane is that the smallest resolvable area in the image plane is determined by the diameter of an individual fiber. The fiber optic relay system described here samples the wavefront radiated from the image to be relayed so that resolution is limited only by wavelength and the diameter of the entire fiber bundle at its ends. Consequently, the system can be used to relay or to combine images in a diffraction limited system as, for example, in a large multiple mirror telescope. The relay assembly is made up of a fiber bundle whose opposite ends are arranged to form concave spherical surfaces. The image to be relayed is positioned at the center of curvature of the first spherical surface and the resultant image appears at the center of curvature of the second sphere. The end faces of all fibers occupy corresponding locations on the two spherical surfaces. The fiber bundle consists of approximately 7000 single mode optical fibers whose optical paths have each been adjusted equal to NA t 1/20A, where A is the wavelength of in-terest and N is less than 10. Total fiber area is approximately 10 percent of the available spherical area so that wavefronts from a number of bundles may be combined. Spacing of fiber ends is irregular in order to eliminate any grating-like effects. Aberrations of this system are not easily described in the classical sense. The f/no can approach 0.5 but the T/no is always much slower, because the number of fibers used does not fill the available area. Diffraction ray trace data is presented for a specific relay system which models the output from a Michelson stellar interferometer.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 October 1986
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 0627, Instrumentation in Astronomy VI, (13 October 1986); doi: 10.1117/12.968079
Show Author Affiliations
Robert J. Magee, The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0627:
Instrumentation in Astronomy VI
David L. Crawford, Editor(s)

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