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Proceedings Paper

Aspheric glass lens modeling and machining
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Paper Abstract

The incorporation of aspheric lenses in complex lens system can provide significant image quality improvement, reduction of the number of lens elements, smaller size, and lower weight. Recently, it has become practical to manufacture aspheric glass lenses using diamond-grinding methods. The evolution of the manufacturing technology is discussed for a specific aspheric glass lens. When a prototype all-glass lens system (80 mm efl, F/2.5) was fabricated and tested, it was observed that the image quality was significantly less than was predicted by the optical design software. The cause of the degradation was identified as the large aspheric element in the lens. Identification was possible by precision mapping of the spatial coordinates of the lens surface and then transforming this data into an appropriate optical surface defined by derived grid sag data. The resulting optical analysis yielded a modeled image consistent with that observed when testing the prototype lens system in the laboratory. This insight into a localized slope-error problem allowed improvements in the fabrication process to be implemented. The second fabrication attempt, the resulting aspheric lens provided remarkable improvement in the observed image quality, although still falling somewhat short of the desired image quality goal. In parallel with the fabrication enhancement effort, optical modeling of the surface was undertaken to determine how much surface error and error types were allowable to achieve the desired image quality goal. With this knowledge, final improvements were made to the fabrication process. The third prototype lens achieved the goal of optical performance. Rapid development of the aspheric glass lens was made possible by the interactive relationship between the optical designer, diamond-grinding personnel, and the metrology personnel. With rare exceptions, the subsequent production lenses were optical acceptable and afforded reasonable manufacturing costs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 August 2005
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 5874, Current Developments in Lens Design and Optical Engineering VI, 58740B (26 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.619382
Show Author Affiliations
R. Barry Johnson, CyberAir Development Corp. (United States)
Michael Mandina, Optimax Systems, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5874:
Current Developments in Lens Design and Optical Engineering VI
Pantazis Z. Mouroulis; Warren J. Smith; R. Barry Johnson, Editor(s)

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