This paper examines the role of the optimization process in illumination design. We will discuss why the starting point of the optimization process is crucial to a better design and why it is also important that the user understands the basic design problem and implements the correct merit function. Both a brute force method and the Downhill Simplex method will be used to demonstrate optimization methods with focus on using interactive design tools to create better starting points to streamline the optimization process.
Modern optical modeling and analysis programs allow users to create and analyze accurate optical and opto-mechanical
systems in the software environment prior to building actual hardware based systems. The resultant accuracy of these
models depends on the accuracy of the components that make up the model including the light source characteristics,
surface and material properties, and the model geometry. In this paper we will consider factors that lead to improved
modeling of the light source such as spectral and angular properties, the spatial distribution of light within the source,
and the interaction of the light with the structure of the source. These factors are extremely important for near field
modeling, especially for fiber and light pipe coupling. Several options will be discussed including simple source models
such as point sources, ray files, surface properties that define optical parameters such as spectral and angular distribution,
and detailed 3D solid models of the source. Simulated results for spectral, angular, and spatial distributions will be
compared to actual measurements. Discussion will also include the appropriateness of each modeling approach with
respect to different applications.
Short-arc pulsed xenon flashlamps are used as the source of optical radiation in many analytical and life science instruments. They provide useable energy from below 150nm to over 1100nm. However, the distribution of spectral energy within the arc discharge is not uniform. This non-uniformity can lead to problems when attempting to model the arc in software. This paper will look at the shape of the arc in short-arc pulsed xenon flashlamps in different spectral regions and use the data collected to generate a more complete model of the arc. Possible ways of using this information in optical modeling software will also be discussed.
Pulsed short-arc xenon flashlamps are used as the source of optical radiation in many analytical and life science instruments. They provide useable energy from below 150nm to over 1100nm. As a pulsed source they can operate at high peak power while still maintaining a low average power. The electrical operating conditions play a major role in the final performance of the lamp. This paper will look at the effect on electrical to optical conversion efficiency, arc size, and spectral distribution of varied electrical operating conditions. Some "rules of thumb" will be developed for the above characteristics as a function of electrical operating conditions. Specific attention will be paid to the new generation of smaller sized flashlamps.