16 July 1986 Laser Rangefinder Optics
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The optics in a laser rangefinder must perform three separate functions: transmitter divergence control, receiver energy collection, and aiming sensor imaging. In addition, boresight may need to be monitored. The design of these optics is driven primarily by the rangefinder packaging constraints, which limit both the external window size and the internal space available. System considerations such as range, target, propagation, package, and safety are used to determine the required optical apertures, fields, divergence, and resolution. Often, the total area of the transmitter, receiver, and sensor apertures cannot be accommodated by the front of the package, in which case functions must be combined. Sensor optics depend somewhat on the specific sensor (eye, TV, FLIR), but usually require the biggest possible aperture with near diffraction-limited performance. Laser beam expanders are usually some form of Galilean telescope, and often present serious Narcissus and damage problems. Receiver optics look simple, but narrow filters and small detectors can make them quite sophisticated. Boresight optics are sometimes required to monitor the alignment of the laser beam to the sensor reticle. Some specific design suggestions are made, with emphasis on those problems which are peculiar to laser range-finders. These designs emphasize high-power pulsed lasers and diffuse targets, since they are the most common and present some of the greatest challenges.
© (1986) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
D.Allan Roberts, "Laser Rangefinder Optics", Proc. SPIE 0610, Scientific and Engineering Applications of Commercial Laser Devices, (16 July 1986); doi: 10.1117/12.956391; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.956391


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