We describe a case study in which a telescope system, originally designed for a large format, visible camera, needed MWIR imaging capabilities while maintaining its original setup. The dedicated telescope system was adapted to share its existing optics with a new imaging module via a skew path concept. The challenges of non-rotationally symmetric design are explored along with an explanation of the methodology used to analyze and address the unique configuration.
There are many applications for zoom systems which operate through a range of working distances while at the same time allowing multiple zoom levels or a smoothly varying magnification range. The problems involved in creating a system to support such applications are greater than either a fixed focal length system or a zoom system operating with an image at infinity. In this paper we will explore some of the optical and mechanical issues involved in such efforts, the tradeoffs between high optical performance and simple mechanical designs, and provide some of the solutions we’ve developed to address these issues.
This article explores the complex design challenges of optical imaging systems that can operate over a
broad range of the electromagnetic spectrum, covering all bands from the visible to the far infrared
simultaneously. Although the focus is placed on a refractive solution to these challenges, an effort to
outline the limitations of reflective solutions is also presented. After exploring a novel method to optimize
the choice of optical materials, an elegant and efficient example is provided: a refractive lens that is at
once a total optical solution (one lens covering a broad spectral range) and a common aperture solution
(one lens that works simultaneously with several camera types). This solution, StingRay Optics' own
SuperBand<sup>TM</sup> Optic, is ultimately explored in its functionality to address this need in an advantageous
This paper will explore an unwanted side effect of shortwave or near infrared optimized lens assemblies operating in low
light conditions. Particular attention will be paid to those designs encountering a bright source in an otherwise low light
scene; i.e. those with large dynamic ranges. The impact of bright features in very low levels can produce degrading
artifacts or noise and greatly hinder image quality. The aforementioned effects will be demonstrated for both the SWIR
optimized lenses and their visible light counterparts. The artifacts of traditional optical and mechanical geometries and
their inherent problems will also be covered as well as how one might lessen their impact on image degradation and
thereby improve system sensitivity.
Increasing demands for thermal imaging systems on unmanned aerial vehicles have led to a concentrated effort in the design and development of light weight infrared optical systems. Pre-engineered or commercially available infrared lens assemblies are typically unsuitable for such low mass and volume constrained applications. This paper will focus on the challenging aspects and design considerations employed to minimize the weight of the refractive elements as well as the associated opto-mechanical support housings. In particular, consideration will be directed towards the hurdles associated with the manufacture of systems intended to operate in this unique branch of surveillance optics.
This paper addresses the variety and impact of dispersive model variations for infrared materials and, in particular, the level to which certain optical designs are affected by this potential variation in germanium. This work offers a method for anticipating and/or minimizing the pitfalls such potential model variations may have on a candidate optical design.
This work will present a new approach to large format projection optics suitable for HWIL testing. Aspects of the design's modular approach and its ability to accommodate widely varying spectral ranges, focal lengths, zoom capabilities and the ability to deliver multi-spectral scene data are presented.
This work focuses on methods used in the mechanical design of infrared catadioptric lenses. Multiple lens designs are presented to allow elaboration on mirror design considerations, alignment, athermal principles, system focusing options and design ruggedization. Catadioptric lenses are commonly used in the infrared as a cost effective solution to their refractive design counterparts. Janos Technology Inc. has designed, fabricated, and tested many catadioptric systems and this paper draws from their history. A summary of the assembly and testing process is also included.
We describe the optical and mechanical design of an athermal infrared objective lens with an afocal anamorphic adapter. The lens presented consists of two modules: an athermal 25mm F/2.3 mid-wave IR objective lens and an optional panoramic adapter. The adapter utilizes anamorphic lenses to create unique image control. The result of which enables an independent horizontal wide field of view, while preserving the original narrow vertical field. We have designed, fabricated and tested two such lenses. A summary of the assembly and testing process is also presented.
A dual field of view IR lens system that incorporates motorized mechanical movement in a compact package is presented. A feature of the design is to change the field of the lens system in less than one second. A secondary goal of the system is to maintain a low overall system profile. Attention is given to the task of identifying a candidate motor for the system. Some commonly encountered pitfalls in the design process are identified.