Immersive stereoscopic imaging requires sharp wide field images, special software, and high resolution displays.
Examples of some successful image capture, splicing, viewing, hosting, and posting techniques used in digital
stereoscopic panoramic photography are given.
Image capture uses camera movements that approximate natural eye positions reasonably well by using manual or
motorized gimbal mounted systems designed for the purpose. Processing requires seamlessly stitching dozens or
hundreds of images into left and right panoramas. Creating stereoscopic images over 50 mega pixels benefits from
programmable motorized camera mounts. The 2 gig limit of TIFFs is often exceeded and requires the use of
GigaPan.org hosting technologies. Gigapixel stereoscopic images are viewed as a single whole while many small files
are quickly uploaded to improve the sharpness of the areas viewed and may be seen at 3d-360.com. Immersive stereo contents, active scrolling and deep zoom capabilities take stereoscopic photography from snapshots
into the realm of immersive virtual presence when combined with modern web and display technologies. Scientific,
artistic, and commercial applications can make effective use of existing stereoscopic displays systems by using these
Stereoscopic digital photography has become much more practical with the use of USB wired
connections between a pair of Canon cameras using StereoData Maker software for precise
synchronization. StereoPhoto Maker software is now used to automatically combine and align right
and left image files to produce a stereo pair. Side by side images are saved as pairs and may be
viewed using software that converts the images into the preferred viewing format at the time of
display. Stereo images may be shared on the internet, displayed on computer monitors, autostereo
displays, viewed on high definition 3D TVs, or projected for a group. Stereo photographers are now
free to control composition using point and shoot settings, or are able to control shutter speed,
aperture, focus, ISO, and zoom. The quality of the output depends on the developed skills of the
photographer as well as their understanding of the software, human vision and the geometry they
choose for their cameras and subjects. Observers of digital stereo images can zoom in for greater
detail and scroll across large panoramic fields with a few keystrokes. The art, science, and methods
of taking, creating and viewing digital stereo photos are presented in a historic and developmental
context in this paper.
Large aperture diffractive optics are needed in high power laser applications to protect against laser damage during operation and in space applications to increase the light gathering power and consequently the signal to noise. We describe the facilities we have built for fabricating meter scale diffractive optics and discuss several examples of these.
The use of lasers as the driver for inertial confinement fusion and weapons physics experiments is based on their ability to produce high-energy short pulses in a beam with low divergence. Indeed, the focusability of high quality laser beams far exceeds alternate technologies and is a major factor in the rationale for building high power lasers for such applications. The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is a large, 192-beam, high-power laser facility under construction at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for fusion and weapons physics experiments. Its uncorrected minimum focal spot size is limited by laser system aberrations. The NIF includes a Wavefront Control System to correct these aberrations to yield a focal spot small enough for its applications. Sources of aberrations to be corrected include prompt pump-induced distortions in the laser amplifiers, previous-shot thermal distortions, beam off-axis effects, and gravity, mounting, and coating-induced optic distortions. Aberrations from gas density variations and optic-manufacturing figure errors are also partially corrected. This paper provides an overview of the NIF Wavefront Control System and describes the target spot size performance improvement it affords. It describes provisions made to accommodate the NIF's high fluence (laser beam and flashlamp), large wavefront correction range, wavefront temporal bandwidth, temperature and humidity variations, cleanliness requirements, and exception handling requirements (e.g. wavefront out-of-limits conditions).
A wavefront control system will be employed on NIF to correct beam aberrations that otherwise would limit the minimum target focal spot size. For most applications, NIF requires a focal spot that is a few times the diffraction limit. Sources of aberrations that must be corrected include prompt pump-induced distortions in the laser slabs, thermal distortions in the laser slabs from previous shots, manufacturing figure errors in the optics, beam off-axis effects, gas density variations, and gravity, mounting, and coating-induced optic distortions.
The use of lasers as the driver for inertial confinement fusion experiments and weapons physics applications is based on their ability to produce high-energy short pulses in a beam with low divergence. Indeed, the focusability of high quality laser beams far exceeds alternate technologies and is a major factor in the rationale for building lasers for such applications The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is a large 192-beam laser facility now under construction at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for fusion and weapons physics experiments. Its uncorrected focal spot minimum size is limited by wavefront aberrations in the laser system. NIF is designed with a wavefront control system to correct these aberrations to yield a focal spot that is small enough for NIF' s intended applications. Sources of aberrations to be corrected include prompt pump-induced distortions in the laser amplifiers, thermal distortions in the amplifiers from previous shots, beam off-axis effects, and gravity, mounting, and coating-induced optic distortions. Aberrations from gas density variations and manufacturing figure errors in the optics are also partially corrected by the wavefront control system. The NIF wavefront control system consists of five subsystems for each of the 192 beams: 1) a deformable mirror, 2) a wavefront sensor, 3) a computer controller, 4) a wavefront reference system, and 5) a rapid reconfiguration system to allow the wavefront control system to operate to within one second of the laser shot. The system includes the capability for in situ calibrations and operates in closed loop prior to the shot. Shot wavefront data is recorded. This paper describes the function, realization, and performance of each wavefront control subsystem. Subsystem performance will be characterized by computer models and by test results. The focal spot improvement in the NIF laser system effected by the wavefront control system will be characterized through computer models. The sensitivity of the target focal spot to various aberration sources will be presented. Analyses to optimize the wavefront control system will also be presented.
The operational requirements of the National Ignition Facility place tight constraints upon its alignment system. In general, the alignment system must establish and maintain the correct relationships between beam position, beam angle, laser component clear apertures, and the target. At the target, this includes adjustment of beam focus to obtain the correct spot size. This must be accomplished for all beamlines in the time consistent with planned shot rates and yet, in the front end and main laser, beam control functions cannot be initiated until the amplifiers have sufficiently cooled so as to minimize dynamic thermal distortions during and after alignment and wavefront optimization. The scope of the task dictates an automated system that implements parallel processes. We describe reticle choices and other alignment references, insertion of alignment beams, principles of operation of the Chamber Center Reference System and Target Alignment Sensor, and the anticipated alignment sequence that will occur between shots.
Using adaptive optics we have obtained nearly diffraction-limited 5 kJ, 3 nsec output pulses at 1.053 micrometer from the Beamlet demonstration system for the National Ignition Facility (NIF). The peak Strehl ratio was improved from 0.009 to 0.50, as estimated from measured wavefront errors. We have also measured the relaxation of the thermally induced aberrations in the main beam line over a period of 4.5 hours. Peak-to-valley aberrations range from 6.8 waves at 1.053 micrometer within 30 minutes after a full system shot to 3.9 waves after 4.5 hours. The adaptive optics system must have enough range to correct accumulated thermal aberrations from several shots in addition to the immediate shot-induced error. Accumulated wavefront errors in the beam line will affect both the design of the adaptive optics system for NIF and the performance of that system.
We have developed a video Hartmann wavefront sensor that incorporates a monolithic array of microlenses as the focusing elements. The sensor uses a monolithic array of photofabricated lenslets. Combined with a video processor, this system reveals local gradients of the wavefront at a video frame rate of 30 Hz. Higher bandwidth is easily attainable with a camera and video processor that have faster frame rates. When used with a temporal filter, the reconstructed wavefront error is less than 1/10th wave.