Near-eye display performance is usually summarized with a few simple metrics such as field of view, resolution, brightness, size, and weight, which are derived from the display industry. In practice, near-eye displays often suffer from image artifacts not captured in traditional display metrics. This work defines several immersive near-eye display metrics such as gaze resolution, pupil swim, image contrast, and stray light. We will discuss these metrics and their trade-offs through review of a few families of viewing optics. Fresnel lenses are used in most commercial virtual reality near-eye displays in part due to their light weight, low volume and acceptable pupil swim performance. However, Fresnel lenses can suffer from significant stray light artifacts. We will share our measurements of several lenses and demonstrate ways to improve performance. Smooth refractive lens systems offer the option for lower stray-light viewing but usually at the cost of a much larger size and weight in order to get to the same pupil swim performance. This can be addressed by using a curved image plane but requires new display technology. Polarization-based pancake optics is promising and can provide excellent image resolution and pupil swim performance within an attractive form-factor. This approach, however, generally results in low light efficiency and poor image contrast due to severe ghosting. We will discuss some of the main limitations of that technology.
The Vector Vortex Coronagraph (VVC) is one of the most attractive new-generation coronagraphs for ground- and
space-based exoplanet imaging/characterization instruments, as recently demonstrated on sky at Palomar and
in the laboratory at JPL, and Hokkaido University. Manufacturing technologies for devices covering wavelength
ranges from the optical to the mid-infrared, have been maturing quickly. We will review the current status of
technology developments supported by NASA in the USA (Jet Propulsion Laboratory-California Institute of
Technology, University of Arizona, JDSU and BEAMCo), Europe (University of Li`ege, Observatoire de Paris-
Meudon, University of Uppsala) and Japan (Hokkaido University, and Photonics Lattice Inc.), using liquid
crystal polymers, subwavelength gratings, and photonics crystals, respectively. We will then browse concrete
perspectives for the use of the VVC on upcoming ground-based facilities with or without (extreme) adaptive
optics, extremely large ground-based telescopes, and space-based internal coronagraphs.
A novel spectrometer device using a single monolithic optical component and a detector array has been developed. The device is compact, rugged, and has good spectral purity and resolving power. The device size is 1.4 X 1.4 X 0.6 inches. Current designs work both in the visual and near infrared. Potential applications are manufacturing control, agricultural screening, medical instrumentation, and color measurement.