3 May 2017 Optical design of wide-angle lens for LWIR earth sensors
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The earth sensors on the satellites measure the attitude by observing the discontinuity between earth radiance and cold space background. As IR detector technology advances, the earth sensor has evolved from traditional scanning sensor to static sensors with uncooled infrared FPA. In order to obtain high pointing accuracy of the earth center and avoid the influence of the cloud layer, the optical system should have the following characteristics such as: excellent f-theta linearity, high MTF at corresponding frequency, and high transmittance in the 14 to 16 μm range. In addition, this earth sensor is intended to be used on a LEO satellite, so the optical system must cover a wide FOV larger than 130°, and be as light and compact as possible.

This paper contains the full design process of a wide-angle lens used for LWIR earth sensors from paraxial power allocation calculation to optimization of lens. The lens has a relative large image circle of 13mm, which is compatible with a 640×480 25μm uncooled FPA, and its full FOV is 180°. Its focal length is 4.177 and F number is 0.8. The f-theta distortion is less than 0.25%. By choosing chalcogenide glasses as lens material, the lens has a higher transmittance compare to Germanium lens. Also by analyzing the chromatic aberration of the lens, applying a DOE surface helps to improve the image quality, and pushes the modulated transfer function towards diffraction limitation.
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RongSheng Qiu, RongSheng Qiu, Wei Dou, Wei Dou, JinYan Kan, JinYan Kan, Kun Yu, Kun Yu, } "Optical design of wide-angle lens for LWIR earth sensors", Proc. SPIE 10209, Image Sensing Technologies: Materials, Devices, Systems, and Applications IV, 102090T (3 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2262077; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2262077

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