Laser based illumination has proven to be useful in a number of defense and security applications such as target
illumination, counter measures, mine detection, and LADAR. For some of these applications, it is desirable to create an
illumination with a specified angular dependence, while for others it is desirable to have a particular illumination profile
at a specified plane. Conventional approaches to these requirements often involve beam truncation or beam energy
redistribution with the target plane having a limited range. Diffractive optic based approaches are capable of providing
high performance solutions to many of these problems. For example, a diffractive diffuser approach can be used to
create tailored intensity profiles which can be much more efficient than using a truncated Gaussian beam in the region
of interest. In particular, the binary optics approach to fabrication of diffractive optics provides a repeatable, high
quality method for volume manufacturing of these elements.
At Digital Optics Corporation, we have designed and fabricated wafer-based optics for a variety of applications in the
157nm-14μm wavelength range. During this talk we will present design and experimental results for several
applications illustrating the use of diffractive elements for laser based illumination.