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25 October 2013 Two-lens designs for modern uncooled and cooled IR imaging devices
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Abstract
In recent years, thermal detectors with a 17 μm pixel pitch have become well-established for use in various applications, such as thermal imaging in cars. This has allowed the civilian infrared market to steadily mature. The main cost for these lens designs comes from the number of lenses used. The development of thermal detectors, which are less sensitive than quantum detectors, has compelled camera manufacturers to demand very fast F-numbers such as f/1.2 or faster. This also minimizes the impact of diffraction in the 8-12 μmm waveband. The freedom afforded by the choice of the stop position in these designs has been used to create high-resolution lenses that operate near the diffraction limit. Based on GASIR®1, a chalcogenide glass, two-lens designs have been developed for all pixel counts and fields of view. Additionally, all these designs have been passively athermalized, either optically or mechanically. Lenses for cooled quantum detectors have a defined stop position called the cold stop (CS) near the FPA-plane. The solid angle defined by the CS fixes not only the F-number (which is less fast than for thermal detectors), but determines also the required resolution. The main cost driver of these designs is the lens diameter. Lenses must be sufficiently large to avoid any vignetting of ray bundles intended to reach the cooled detector. This paper studies the transfer of approved lens design principles for thermal detectors to lenses for cooled quantum detectors with CS for same pixel count at three horizontal fields of view: a 28° medium field lens, an 8° narrow field lens, and a 90° wide field lens. The lens arrangements found for each category have similar lens costs.
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Norbert Schuster and John Franks "Two-lens designs for modern uncooled and cooled IR imaging devices", Proc. SPIE 8896, Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications X, 889604 (25 October 2013); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2028716
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