Gradient index (GRIN) lenses have been created for imaging in the infrared regime by diffusion of chalcogenide glasses. The GRIN lenses are shaped using a combination of precision glass molding and single point diamond turning. The precision glass molding step, is known to cause a drop in the index of refraction in both oxide and chalcogenide glasses. This drop is a direct result of the cooling rate during the molding process. Since the GRIN lenses have an index of refraction profile created by diffusion of multiple chalcogenide glasses, we would expect that the index drop would vary as a function of position. In this paper we investigate the expected profile change due to the index drop of the constituent chalcogenide glasses, as well as report performance data on the GRIN lenses.
Single aperture multispectral systems are becoming prevalent thanks to advances in multispectral detectors, new optical materials, and new methods for selecting materials that minimize chromatic and thermal focal shift. This design study focuses on design of a three field-of-view, multispectral lens operating across the MWIR and LWIR spectral regions. The lens in question will have an f-number of f/3 with a 3X zoom ratio. The narrow full field-ofview of the lens is 3.33° with a wide full field-of view of 9.99°, the length of the system is 163 mm. The performance goal for the lens is diffraction limited over the thermal region. The study will provide an overview of material selection using an updated γv-v diagram, to provide achromatic and athermal characteristics. The study will then step through first order layout, optimization with key constraints, and tolerancing for manufacturability. Finally, the study will provide detailed analysis of system performance including as-built MTF over temperature, aberration analysis, and NETD contributions from narcissus.
Infrared (IR) transmitting gradient index (GRIN) materials have been developed for broad-band IR imaging. This material is derived from the diffusion of homogeneous chalcogenide glasses has good transmission for all IR wavebands. The optical properties of the IR-GRIN materials are presented and the fabrication and design methodologies are discussed. Modeling and optimization of the diffusion process is exploited to minimize the deviation of the index profile from the design profile. Fully diffused IR-GRIN blanks with Δn of ~0.2 are demonstrated with deviation errors of ±0.01 refractive index units.
Recently, optical materials have been developed by Schott and NRL to improve material selection in the SWIR, MWIR, and LWIR wavelength regions. In addition, new multiband detectors are reaching maturity, leading to a natural push for common aperture lens systems. Detectors that can span the SWIR/MWIR, MWIR/LWIR or SWIR/MWIR/LWIR wavelengths regions will require complex optical systems to effectively utilize their full potential. Designing common aperture wide-band systems that are both achromatized and passively athermal, especially while maintaining SWAP-c (size, weight, power and cost), poses significant challenges. Through use of the updated γν-ν diagram, which provides guidance on material combinations that both achromatize and athermalize, part of that challenge is reduced. This updated γν-ν diagram uses instantaneous Abbe number and peak wavelength. The instantaneous Abbe number is a function of wavelength and is the scaled reciprocal of the instantaneous dispersion. The instantaneous Abbe number is defined at the peak wavelength, which occurs when the second derivative of the index of refraction goes to zero. Three examples will be presented using this updated athermal/achromatic glass map to demonstrate its effectiveness. These design examples will include a SWIR/MWIR design, a MWIR/LWIR design and, a SWIR/MWIR/LWIR design.
There is a strong desire to reduce size and weight of single and multiband IR imaging systems in ISR operations on hand-held, helmet mounted or airborne platforms. Current systems are limited by bulky optics. We have recently developed a large number of new optical materials based on chalcogenide glasses which transmit in SWIR to LWIR wavelength region that fill up the glass map for multispectral optics and vary in refractive index from 2.38 to 3.17. They show a large spread in dispersion (Abbe number) and offer some unique solutions for multispectral optics designs. These glasses were specifically designed to have comparable glass molding temperatures and thermal properties to be able to laminate and co-mold the optics and reduce the number of air-glass interfaces (lower Fresnel reflection losses). These new NRL glasses also have negative or very low positive dn/dT making it easier to athermalize the optical system. This presentation will cover discussions on the new optical materials, multispectral designs, fabrication and characterization of new optics.
Graded index (GRIN) optical materials and novel lens offer numerous benefits for infrared applications, where selection of conventional materials is limited. For optical systems that must perform over wide spectral regions, the reduction of size weight and complexity can be achieved through the use of GRIN elements. At the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) we are developing new technologies for IR gradient index (IR-GRIN) optical materials. This paper will present the latest progress in the development of these materials including their design space guidelines, fabrication, metrology, optics characterization, and preliminary imaging demonstration.
Over the past few years, new detector technologies have enabled multiband detection through a single aperture. This creates significant SWAP advantages (size, weight and power) and has spurred significant interest in multiband optics (for instance SWIR/MWIR, MWIR/LWIR, etc.). However, due to the small number of materials available in the infrared regions, passive optical athermalization and achromatization can be challenging even over single waveband. This becomes even more challenging in the case of multiband optics. One method for determining appropriate material combinations for athermalization and achromatization is use of a y ∗ v vs. v diagram. We examine an updated form of the y ∗ v vs. v diagram using instantaneous Abbe number. While Abbe number is an effective metric for dispersion within single bands, it becomes less reliable when extended to wider wavelength ranges. Instantaneous Abbe number allows for a wider waveband to be defined, without a loss of generality; and this allows for an updated definition of the y ∗ v vs. v diagram for the development of multiband optics. We present an example of a multiband lens as well as compare the typical definition of Abbe number with instantaneous Abbe number to determine the validity of the updated model.
A technique for fabricating novel infrared (IR) lenses can enable a reduction in the size and weight of IR
imaging optics through the use of layered glass structures. These structures can range from having a few thick
glass layers, mimicking cemented doublets and triplets, to having many thin glass layers approximating graded
index (GRIN) lenses. The effectiveness of these structures relies on having materials with diversity in refractive
index (large Δn) and dispersion and similar thermo-viscous behavior (common glass transition temperature, ΔTg
= 10°C). A library of 13 chalcogenide glasses with broad IR transmission (NIR through LWIR bands) was
developed to satisfy these criteria. The lens fabrication methodology, including glass design and synthesis,
sheet fabrication, preform making, lens molding and surface finishing are presented.
This work presents a planar optical light guide design for concentrating solar power onto a photovoltaic cell. The design allows concentrated light injected into the guide to avoid interaction with other injection facets. The presented design has a HFOV of 1°, geometrical concentration of 112.5x at the output of the guide, and can achieve greater than 500x with secondary concentration.
This paper describes the design, assembly, and testing of a concentrating photovoltaic module which uses spectral
splitting to achieve high system power efficiency. The assembly and testing of two prototype modules is also
described. An efficiency of 37.5% was measured on the highest performing module.
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a segmented deployable telescope that will require on-orbit alignment
using the Near Infrared Camera as a wavefront sensor. The telescope will be aligned by adjusting seven degrees of
freedom on each of 18 primary mirror segments and five degrees of freedom on the secondary mirror to optimize the
performance of the telescope and camera at a wavelength of 2 microns. With the completion of these adjustments, the
telescope focus is set and the optical performance of each of the other science instruments should then be optimal
without making further telescope focus adjustments for each individual instrument. This alignment approach requires
confocality of the instruments after integration and alignment to the composite metering structure, which will be verified
during instrument level testing at Goddard Space Flight Center with a telescope optical simulator. In this paper, we
present the results from a study of several analytical approaches to determine the focus for each instrument. The goal of
the study is to compare the accuracies obtained for each method, and to select the most feasible for use during optical
14 October 2019 | Rochester, New York, United States
Optical Design Challenge 2019
3 February 2019 | San Francisco, California, United States
16 October 2017 | Rochester, New York, United States
SC1162: Design of Multiband Optical Systems
Multispectral and hyperspectral systems are designed to increase target acquisition performance as well as answer SWaP-C (size/weight/power/cost) requirements for defense and remote sensing systems. Recent developments in optical materials enable optical systems that operate over multiple infrared bands simultaneously. This course describes techniques for designing these systems using existing and new chalcoginide materials, and it provides methods for choosing material combinations, laying out systems, and predicting performance. An emphasis is placed on understanding dispersion and thermal characteristics in order to design achromatic and athermalized dual- and multi-band infrared imaging systems. Additionally, this course will touch upon recent advances in fused, layered, and gradient index infrared optics, specifically with regard to chalcoginide materials.