In the case of imaging optics for imaging cellular phones, special attention has to be paid on the cost of the lens system. The number of lens elements has to be minimized, but the image quality has to be maximized. It is important that optimum quality/cost - ratio is found. The image sensor characteristics and human visual system preferences have to be taken into consideration as well for the design. In this paper, we present our new image quality metric. The performance of the metric is investigated using subjective tests on different lens designs and compared with MTF metric. We show that our metric has a good correlation with human observer and performs better than MTF metric. Finally, we give some examples of optimization based on our metric.
In this paper, an imaging system simulation tool is presented. With the tool, it is possible to simulate the performance (quality) of an imaging system. Furthermore, the system allows optimization of the lens system for a given image sensor. Experiments have shown that the tool is useful in actual lens design.
The prototyping process of miniaturized plastic imaging lens is described. The sequence is divided into five phases: specification, optics design, optomechanical design, manufacturing and characterization. During specification, the optical and mechanical requirements of the lens are defined. In the optical design phase, the lens is optimized, and a tolerance analysis is carried out. Simulation tools, especially, an image quality simulator, can be used to visualize and verify the performance of the design. Mechanical design is performed considering the geometrical specifications and optical tolerances of the system. In addition, stray light analysis is carried out to verify the optical performance of the optomechanics. Plastic optics are particularly vulnerable to stray light due to the integrated mountings, which provide additional paths for unwanted light. If the prototype is used for preliminary performance evaluation of a future product, the differences between prototype and mass manufacturing methods need to be considered carefully. After the lenses are manufactured they are characterized, and the experimental results are compared with the original specifications and estimations obtained from the previous design verification simulations. New error analysis simulations can be performed in order to pinpoint faults in manufactured modules. If the performance of the prototype is not sufficient, a new prototyping iteration circle is needed. The whole process is described and analyzed using a miniature, plastic imaging lens as an example, but it can also be applied to other optical prototyping tasks.
The performance of a random target method for fast MTF measurement of a lens is evaluated. Although the method is well-known, its potential for fast lens testing has not been assessed in the open literature. To optimize speed, the simplest possible instrument setup with minimum amount of mechanical movements during measurement execution is used. The setup includes only a random target, lens under test and a CCD camera with focus adjustment. The target consists of a random black and white pattern of a flat spectrum. The MTF of the lens is acquired by imaging the random target on the CCD using the lens, and then analyzing the spatial frequency content of the image using an ordinary PC. It was found out that a suitable compromise between speed and precision is achieved using a matrix of 128*128 samples per measured field point. This provides better than 2% precision and a few second's total execution time per lens including best focus evaluation and the measurement of tangential and sagittal MTF curves of 5 field points. Using commercially available components, measurement frequencies up to 100 cycles/mm seem achievable using the simple instrument setup.
The trend towards so-called digital convergence (multiple functionality within a single terminal) is opening up a need for high-capacity storage within the cellular mobile terminals (CMT). Solid-state memories and magnetic microdrives are the most commercially mature options. Optical disk technology in this size range is immature, but has a unique potential: no other medium at present has the capability to be simultaneously low-cost, high-capacity, and exchangeable. In this paper, we explore the requirements for the implementation of optical disk storage in a CMT environment. From the technical point of view, these requirements include small form factor, high-enough data density and throughput, low power consumption, robustness, low cost, mass productability, and modularity. Although current technologies may satisfy some of these requirements individually, there is a need for combined optimization of all of these parameters. From the commercial point of view, the most crucial requirement is global standardization. Such standardization is crucial if wide interoperability is wanted (between CMT manufacturers, and even more crucially between CMTs and other appliances). Current optical storage standards are industry-driven and tend to be proprietary and/or incompatible. Even if the technical challenges can be met, optical data storage is not likely to be accepted in CMT applications unless global standardization proceeds more quickly than it is doing at present.