We present a single optical system that can simultaneously generate two linear polarized full-color images with
orthogonal state of polarization. The system architecture of the optical core is discussed. Four liquid crystal
on silicon panels are used to modulate both images. We also discuss the design of the illumination system
with light emitting diodes as light sources. The contrast of both images is simulated. A proof-of-concept
demonstrator is built and experimentally characterized. It is capable of two-dimensional and three-dimensional
image display. Three-dimensional images can be perceived, independent of the tilt angle of the viewer's head, by
wearing specific polarization sensitive eyeglasses and placing a quarter-wave retarder at the projector's output.
Important component specifications are overviewed to improve the performance of the demonstrator setup.
LED-based projectors have numerous advantages compared to traditional projectors. They are more compact, they exhibit a larger color gamut and a longer lifetime, the supply voltage is lower and they can even operate on batteries. LEDs can switch rapidly (possibility to pulse) and they have a high dimming ratio (contrast considerations). However, they have low optical power per étendue, although this is also improving consistently. With an efficient illumination engine design we can build an LED projector with a moderate light output and with superior properties. We present a relatively compact LED projector with two liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) light valves (LVs). One of these LVs alternately modulates red and blue information, while the other permanently modulates green information to achieve a good color balance. Additionally, we apply some methods to increase the brightness on the screen. Our two-LCOS approach results in a compact, efficient LED projector that produces 171 lm projected D65 flux.
LED based projectors have numerous advantages compared to traditional projectors: they are more compact, exhibit a larger color gamut and a longer lifetime, the supply voltage is lower, the absence of ultra violet, infrared radiation and mercury vapour, etc. Furthermore LED's can switch on and off very rapidly (possibility to pulse them) and they have a high dimming ratio that can be used to improve the contrast. However, there is also an important disadvantage: the optical power per unit of etendue (luminance) of an LED is significantly lower than that of e.g. an UHP-lamp. Because of this and the etendue limitation of the projector (small light valve, f-number projection lens), the projected flux on the screen will not be high. Despite this shortcoming, LED's are still very interesting for low power applications because of their superior properties. However we have to collect the available light flux optimally and combine multiple LED's with high luminance within the available system etendue. In this paper we have studied collection optics that collect the LED flux with high optical efficiency and collimation and reshape the spot in a uniform illuminated rectangle with the sizes of the micro display. We have designed 'Gradually Tapered Light Pipes', 'Elliptical Reflectors' and 'Parabolic Reflectors'. Furthermore we have combined many of these LED/collector combinations to get a high luminance illumination engine for LED based projectors.
LED-based projectors have numerous advantages compared to traditional projectors, such as compactness, larger color gamut, longer lifetime, and lower supply voltage. As LEDs can switch rapidly, there is the possibility to pulse. However, there is also an important disadvantage. The optical power per unit of étendue of an LED is significantly lower than, e.g., an ultra-high-performance (UHP) lamp. This problem can be remedied partly by pulsing the LEDs. If one drives an LED with a pulsed current source, the peak luminance can be higher, albeit the average luminance will not increase. By pulsing two LEDs alternately (50% duty cycle), their increased flux can be added up in time and will generate a higher average flux within the same étendue. We combine the LEDs with a polarizing beam splitter (PBS) and change the polarization of one LED with a switchable retarder. The achieved substantial net gain after all losses is 36%.
Led based projectors have numerous advantages compared to traditional projectors, such as: compact, larger color gamut, longer lifetime, lower supply voltage, etc. As LED's can switch rapidly, there is the possibility to pulse. However, there is also an important disadvantage. The optical power per unit of etendue of a LED is significantly lower than e.g. an UHP-lamp (approximately 50 times). This problem can be remedied partly by pulsing of the LED’s. If one drives a LED with a pulsed current source, the peak luminance can be higher, albeit that the average luminance will not increase. By pulsing X LED's alternately, their increased flux can be added up in time and will generate a higher average flux within the same etendue. This can be carried out in a number of different configurations. The first configuration uses moving components where a number of LED's (e.g. 8) are mounted on a carrousel and consecutively the pulsed LED is brought in the light path of the projector to fill up the time with its peak flux. An alternative without moving components can be reached with 2 LED's which are combined with a PBS. By alternately pulsing the LED's with 50% duty cycle and changing the polarisation of one LED with a switchable retarder, one can combine the flux of both LED's in the same etendue. Because of its fast switching time ferro-electric retarders are used here. This can be extended further to 4,8,16... LED's, at the price of a larger and more complicated optical architecture.