"Complex Designs Demand Optical Engineering Code," Laser Focus World
Updated: Aug 04, 2014
Author(s): Kevin Garcia
"From automotive headlamps to zoom lenses, traditional lens design codes fall short when modeling both imaging and nonimaging aspects of complex optical systems.
Geometrical lens design and analysis have changed dramatically in the past few years to meet the requirements of nonclassical optical systems. A subset of the optical engineering process, lens design has been almost exclusively associated with the design of classical imaging optical systems modeled with geometrical rays, such as cameras, microscopes, and telescopes. Automated lens design programs can efficiently find solutions for a number of classical lens systems. These methods, however, can be restrictive for simulating more-general and more-complex optical system geometries involving nonsequential light propagation and other optical phenomena such as transmitted, reflected, scattered, diffracted, and polarized light. Now, optical engineering software is available to analyze optical systems containing complicated extended sources with a large number of rays; for these applications, automated optimization techniques based on conventional lens design code are inadequate. ..."