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28 September 1994 New developments in optical correction for nonspherical windows and domes
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Abstract
Protective windows and domes on air vehicles such as aircraft and missiles must be efficient aerodynamically, and also they must be acceptable from an optical standpoint. Flat windows have essentially no effect to the optical performance, however they are extremely blunt and not efficient aerodynamically. Concentric domes are reasonably efficient aerodynamically, and if the imaging sensor optics gimbals around the center of curvature of the concentric dome, then the optical aberrations can be easily and effectively corrected for all fields of regard away from the nose. For high speed applications such as with missiles, concentric domes have been a standard for many years. Unfortunately, for extremely high speed applications where aerodynamically induced drag is a problem, concentric domes are simply not adequate, and more aerodynamically efficient shapes such as tangent ogives, must be used. For many applications using today's state of the art IR focal plane arrays the optical performance must be close to diffraction limited. While correction of the residual optical aberrations of a concentric dome is quite trivial, the highly aspheric shape of a tangent ogive introduces significant asymmetrical aberrations which change dramatically with field of regard. In this paper we discuss some recent developments using binary optics for correcting these optical aberrations. With the approaches outlined herein, the heretofore impossible task of imaging through a tangent ogive pointed dome is now shown to be possible.
© (1994) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert E. Fischer, Lawrence R. Siegel, Ronald J. Korniski, and Ellis Joseph Boudreaux Jr. "New developments in optical correction for nonspherical windows and domes", Proc. SPIE 2286, Window and Dome Technologies and Materials IV, (28 September 1994); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.187367
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