27 September 2013 Analysis of thermally loaded transmissive optical elements
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Abstract
The performance metrics of many optical systems are affected by temperature changes in the system through different physical phenomena. Temperature changes cause materials to expand and contract causing deformations of optical components. The resulting stress states in transmissive optics can cause refractive changes that can affect optical performance. In addition, the temperature changes themselves can cause changes in the refractive properties of transmissive optics. Complex distributions of refractive indices that relate to the thermal profile, the thermo-optic refractive index profile, within the optical media can be predicted by the finite element method. One current technique for representing such refractive index profiles is through the generation of optical path difference (OPD) maps by integration along integration paths. While computationally efficient, this method has limitations in its ability to represent the effect of the index changes for rays associated with multiple field points and multiple wavelengths. A more complete representation of the thermo-optic refractive index profile may be passed to the optical analysis software through the use of a user defined gradient index material. The interface consists of a dynamic link library (DLL) which supplies indices of refraction to a user defined gradient index lens as ray tracing calculations are being performed. The DLL obtains its refractive index description from a database derived from the thermal analysis of the optics. This process allows optical analysis software to perform accurate ray tracing for an arbitrary refractive index profile induced by changes in temperature.
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Gregory J. Michels, Gregory J. Michels, Victor L. Genberg, Victor L. Genberg, } "Analysis of thermally loaded transmissive optical elements", Proc. SPIE 8840, Optical Modeling and Performance Predictions VI, 88400C (27 September 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2022543; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2022543
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