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25 September 2013 Design of wearable binoculars with on-demand zoom
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Sandia has developed an optical design for wearable binoculars utilizing freeform surfaces and switchable mirrors. The goals of the effort included a design lightweight enough to be worn by the user while providing a useful field of view and magnification as well as non-mechanical switching between normal and zoomed vision. Sandia’s approach is a four mirror, off-axis system taking advantage of the weight savings and chromatic performance of a reflective system. The system incorporates an electrochromic mirror on the final surface before the eye allowing the user to switch between viewing modes. Results from a prototype of a monocular version with 6.6x magnification will be presented. The individual mirrors, including three off-axis aspheres and one true freeform, were fabricated using a diamond-turning based process. A slow-slide servo process was used for the freeform element. Surface roughness and form measurement of the freeform mirror will be presented as well as the expected impact on performance. The alignment and assembly procedure will be reviewed as well as the measured optical performance of the prototype. In parallel to the optical design work, development of an electrochromic mirror has provided a working device with faster switching than current state of the art. Switchable absorbers have been demonstrated with switching times less than 0.5 seconds. The deposition process and characterization of these devices will be presented. Finally, details of an updated optical design with additional freeform surfaces will be presented as well as plans for integrating the electrochromic mirror into the system.
© (2013) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert R. Boye, Ronald S. Goeke, Jeffery P. Hunt, Aaron M. Ison, Bradley H. Jared, Jamin R. Pillars, Michael P. Saavedra, William C. Sweatt, W. Graham Yelton, Edward G. Winrow, and Steve L. Wolfley "Design of wearable binoculars with on-demand zoom", Proc. SPIE 8841, Current Developments in Lens Design and Optical Engineering XIV, 88410H (25 September 2013);


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