People & Pointers
Use this space to show off your skills, introduce yourself, or to chat about the latest in the world of optics.
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Optimization tricks. Share your experience!
Optimization is extremely important in a computer-aided design. However, it's never as easy as just a click on a button. We usually need to carefully set up the variable and merit function. While there are no a general rules to follow for all systems, there are still some useful trick to follow for most of common cases. Here I'm sharing some from my experience. If you put yours in reply, I will also update this thread.:) [Michael Cheng] 1. Keep this in mind: Always check and consider whether a variable is really required to be a variable. * If the variable won't changing system performance much, turn off it first. You can turn it on at final stage for a fine tune. A typical case is the thickness of a lens. In many cases, they contribute much less than those AIR thicknesses in the system. * Before careful that, if you have a redundant variable, for example Radius on an isolated STOP, the optimizer may be confused and just cannot work well. * If during optimization, a variable just
[Webinar] Simulating Infrared thermal detectors in OpticStudio [Q&A]Webinar
I will be hosting a webinar on modelling Infrared thermal detectors in OpticStudio. The details of the webinar are below! This thread will be used to collect questions before the webinar, and to answer any questions we received during the webinar. Feel free to post your questions! Be sure to subscribe to this thread if you want to see additional discussion regarding this topic. The thread will be open to comments until Thursday, January 27th. Webinar details:Register here: [Event has concluded, registration is no longer available]Date: Thursday, January 20thTime: 6:00am PST & 11:00am PSTPresenter: @Csilla Timar-Fulep, Senior Application Engineer for Ansys Abstract: In this webinar we will demonstrate how to model infrared thermal detectors in OpticStudio. We will first discuss how to describe thermal radiation accurately by blackbody sources. Then, we will show how to simulate the temperature calibration process of thermal detectors via the ZOS-API to enable not only qualitative a
Report energy throughput in OpticStudio
To evaluate system throughput, there are 4 tools you can consider in OpticStudio Sequential mode, Footprint diagram, Vignetting Diagram, Geometric Image Analysis (GIA), and Transmission analysis. The Footprint Diagram and Vignetting Diagram deal with vignetting only and does not consider the Fresnel reflection or bulk absorption losses. They show what fraction of the launched rays are being blocked off/vignetted due to surface apertures. The GIA can do the same thing, but it can also consider Fresnel reflection and bulk absorption losses if you check the Use Polarization button. And the Transmission analysis always includes Fresnel reflection loss and bulk absorption loss. For example, in this system below, at the edge of the field 30deg, the Footprint diagram, the Vignetting Diagram, and the GIA (bottom reports “Percent efficiency %”, Use Polarization not checked) all report very similar system throughput. If you check Use Polarization in GIA, then it’ll consider the Fresnel reflectio
How to avoid the TIR(total internal reflection) during the lens optimization
Sorry that this title is not accurate. The TIR occurs sometimes when we recreate something from a patent or we add extra operands other than the operands generated by the field wizard.I have been asked several times. I got this error message during my current project. So I want to share some thoughts about how to do this:Reduce the field/ numerical aperture to remove the TIR first Apply the RAID/ MXAI/MXRE/MXRI to constrain the incident angle You can optimize the lens shape to reduce the angle Try HYLD in optimization wizard Designing for as-built performance with High-Yield Optimization – Knowledgebase (zemax.com)
How to control the aspherical surface during the optimization
I had a hard time in controlling the aspherical surface shape on a design found by the hammer optimization (over night, you get it. It’s a better practice to add some constrains before we optimize instead of after the optimization.) for my project. I did some investigation and want to share with you some methods and tools that I found quite useful.We can use the Q type to optimize, then convert to even asphere if needed for certain reasons. The tool in Analysis->PAL/Freeform→ Power Pupil/Field Map may help, similarly the surface sag cross section. Following the second one, we can control these by using POWF and POWP For mold glass we need something close to sphere, this can be controlled by BFSD The SDRV and the SCUR can be applied to optimize the plastic lenses to have the desired shapeI may miss some useful tools. Certain methods may not work for certain cases. I would like to know what you think about these methods and do you have other ways to achieve this?
New off-axis tools for reflective system design
We have recently added some capabilities that should help designers of reflective systems. In case you missed them, they are: an off-axis coordinate system for surface analyses, a sequential Off-Axis Conic Freeform, a nonsequential Off-Axis Mirror, and a tool to add an off-axis pivot point.Off-Axis Coordinates flagThe Surface Sag, Curvature, and Slope plots now have an “Off-Axis Coordinates” flag in the Settings. For Standard surfaces with off-axis apertures, this will convert the analyses to a coordinate system centered at the off-axis aperture and perpendicular to the surface normal at the vertex of the off-axis part. Off-Axis Conic FreeformThere’s a new Off-Axis Conic Freeform surface with a coordinate system at the vertex of the part. Since the freeform terms are optional, this part is also useful for mirrors that are off-axis conics. The sides of the part are parallel to the surface normal to correctly capture parts that are fabricated directly onto a blank (rather than parts
Which MTF result shall I trust if FFT MTF, Geometric MTF and Huygens MTF have different results?
I got three different MTF distributions. Why they are different and how can we eliminate the difference? Which one shall I trust?For example, when I set the entrance pupil diameter to 1 for \Zemax\Samples\Short course\Optical System Design Using OpticStudio\sc_dbga1.zmx I got this:
FAQ of Enhanced Ray-Aiming for users
All the information below is obsolete. Please refer to this knowledge base article for full information. Introduction to Enhanced Ray Aiming and Ray Aiming Wizard Q: What is this?Starting from 21.1, we have added experimental feature for the Ray-Aiming algorithm, which are supposed to solve Ray-Aiming problems in some extreme user cases or novel application designs. In these challenging cases, the current Ray-Aiming algorithm usually has hard time to find the chief ray that hitting STOP center for the problematic field.Since the new algorithm is still in beta testing, it’s not enabled by default. Users need to explicitly turn on the feature in order to test the new function.Q: What problems does the experimental feature solve?A system with Ray-Aiming problems can end up in many different syndromes. The following are a few examples. Note it’s important to know the following error could be caused by other reasons but not Ray-Aiming. It could be the system has reached the physical limitat
[Webinar] Designing Cell phone Camera Lenses with an Interoperability Workflow – Part 1 [Q&A]
This thread is dedicated to the upcoming webinar: Designing Cell phone Camera Lenses with an Interoperability Workflow – Part 1. Any questions received during the webinar will be responded to as a reply on this thread. Feel free to post your own questions! The speaker will be notified and will respond as long as the thread is still open.Be sure to subscribe to this thread if you want to see additional discussion regarding this webinar topic. The thread will be open to new replies for a limited time following the event. [The webinar has concluded] Webinar detailsDate: Tuesday, September 13thTime: 6:00 - 6:45 AM PDT | 11:00 - 11:45 AM PDTPresenter: Sandrine Auriol, Lead Application Engineer & Flurin Herrin, Application Engineer IIAbstract:The cell phone market has experienced rapid growth over the past two decades. Cell phones improving significantly on a yearly basis, part of that evolution are also the camera lenses of the cell phones. With image quality reaching higher levels than
Feature Experiment Feedback: Ray Aiming Wizard
In OpticStudio 22.1, we have improved the performance of our ray aiming algorithm for innovative applications that require a wide field-of-view (such as machine vision, surveillance cameras on drones, autonomous vehicles as well as cell phone lenses). Significant improvements have been made to address issues such as “cannot trace” errors and discontinuities in analyses that can occur when using ray aiming. These improvements are referred to as Enhanced Ray Aiming, and with the 22.1 release, we are first supporting rotationally symmetric wide field-of-view systems.The OpticStudio 22.1 release also features one exciting new Feature Experiment, called the Ray Aiming Wizard. This tool provides the necessary data for you to determine the optimal ray-aiming settings for your system, including the new Enhanced Ray Aiming method. With the new Ray Aiming Wizard, you will know when and how to use ray aiming to get accurate system analysis and modeling. You can find this tool in the Ray Aiming se
[Webinar] Modeling Flash Lidar in OpticStudio, Part 1: Lidar Component Setup in Sequential Mode [Q&A]
This thread is dedicated to the upcoming webinar: Modeling Flash Lidar in OpticStudio, Part 1: Lidar Component Setup in Sequential Mode. Any questions received during the webinar will be responded to as a reply on this thread. Feel free to post your own questions! The speaker will be notified and will respond as long as the thread is still open.Be sure to subscribe to this thread if you want to see additional discussion regarding this webinar topic. The thread will be open to new replies through Friday, August 12th. This event is closed. Click here to watch the recording.Click here to see part 2. Webinar detailsDate: Thursday, August 4thTime: 6:00 - 6:45 AM PDT | 11:00 - 11:45 AM PDTPresenter: Angel Morales, Senior Application Engineer at Ansys ZemaxAbstract:In the consumer electronics space, engineers leverage lidar for several functions, such as facial recognition and 3D mapping. While vastly different embodiments of lidar systems exist, a flash lidar solution generates an array of d
Summary of available materials about AR/VR simulation
Technical details about how to simulation AR/VR systems with Ansys products (Mainly Zemax,Speos and Lumerical)22/11/16: Add Fresnel, human vision and some learning paths.Many thanks to Mathieu Reigneau!22/12/06: add explanation of dll parameters: stochastic mode, max/min order KBA learning path (including all AR examples) ：HUD & AR – Knowledgebase (zemax.com)AR surface relief waveguide：Simulate 2D diffraction grating using customized diffractive DLL | Zemax Community关于如何使用Zemax的RCWA工具进行EPE的仿真 | Zemax CommunityLumerical RCWA和Zemax OpticStudio的动态链接 | Zemax Community[RCWA Stochastic mode] Discussion of Start Order・Stop Order / Max Order / Only These Orders | Zemax CommunityUpdates about this dllOpticStudio grating tools beta function update history | Zemax CommunityVHG：Overview of Kogelnik's Efficiency Calculations in OpticStudioModeling a Holographic Waveguide in OpticStudio for AR SystemsFAQ of volume hologram model in OpticStudio | Zemax CommunityUpdates about this dllBuilding Exit
How can I define an acceptance angle in a detector?
To define an acceptance angle, you may use filter strings or define a table coating. For the first one, you can use the following filter strings: The Setup Tab > Editors Group (Setup Tab) > Non-sequential Component Editor > Non-sequential Overview > The Filter String   So for example, if you want to select only rays incident at an angle of less than 10 (cos(10) = 0.984808) degrees on your detector (Object 2 in this case) whose normal vector points along local +z, the filter string would be: X_NGT(2, 0.984808) When running the ray trace, you can define this filter and save the ray data: this means that only if the ray passes the filter, it will be saved:   After that, you can use this ray database for your analysis. The second possibility would be define a table coating and apply it in an object placed in front of the detector. With this coating format the transmission and reflection may be defined as a function of incident angle and wavelength. To read a compl
Just in case anyone is wondering, I updated my Windows 10 machine to Windows 11 and everything worked exactly as it should. The previously installed version of OS ran normally and the installation of the latest version also worked fine. Good old Microsoft!There is no difference in performance in any app as far as I can see. The major difference in 11 seems to be a light refresh of the GUI. Rounded corners on app windows and the task bar is centered rather than left justified by default. Major steps forward. But good news, no hair was pulled out over this upgrade!Mark
How to save detector ray data as a source file
There are two ways to do this:Use the Save detector Data tool to create the source file Generate the source file by running raytracing. Pay attention that you have to put the detector number and - to get the source file. You can find the generated source file here:About how to use the source file, it’s mentioned here:SPEOS and Zemax Source file converter – Knowledgebase
Tech Tip Tuesday: Setting up HUD systems
Setting up a Head-Up Display (HUD) system can seem quite challenging, with all the (highly) off-axis elements. Starting in sequential mode, OpticStudio offers several tools to make it easy for designers, to set up the position and orientation of each surface:Our Tilt & Decentre Tool has been recently updated! You can now tilt/decentre a surface using an arbitrary pivot point, to align with the actual pivot point of a mirror holder for instance: The Coordinate Break Return: OpticStudio will then calculate the parameters of that Coordinate Break surface so that after this coordinate break surface the local coordinates are identical to (“returned” to) the local coordinates of a previous sequential surface: The Chief Ray Solve: that Solve calculates tilts and decenters of a coordinate break surface so it’s perpendicular to and centered on the chief ray:Want to learn more? Join our upcoming webinar: Stray light analysis for HUD systems on November 18th, 2021 - http://ow.ly/75xR50GJtcoR
Advantages of the new nonsequential Off-Axis Mirror object
We’ve introduced an Off-Axis Mirror object in nonsequential mode. It has some advantages for users:The object has a coordinate system that is at the center of the off-axis part. (See sketch below.) This makes tolerancing and moving the part easier, because there’s no need to define motions with respect to the parent vertex. It also means that the edges of the part’s substrate are perpendicular to the surface slope at the vertex. This is more realistic for parts that are polished directly onto a blank (versus small parts that can be cut out of a parent part). It is simpler to define the off-axis apertures. The part supports native elliptical and rectangular apertures (including circular and square). The object simplifies the nonsequential editor, since a Boolean is not required to define the aperture. Definition of the off-axis coordinate system for the Off-Axis Mirror in nonsequential modeA shaded model view of the Off-Axis Mirror object
HUD related materials
We have an KBA which describes some related tools and sample file made by my experienced colleague Sandrine.https://support.zemax.com/hc/en-us/articles/1500005577782-Which-tools-to-use-when-working-on-a-Head-up-Display-One important tool is the NSC Sag Map, you can find more information here:NSC Sag Map User Analysis – Knowledgebase (zemax.com)Besides, Steven has highlighted some tips: https://community.zemax.com/people-pointers-9/tech-tip-tuesday-working-with-freeform-hud-elements-1838https://community.zemax.com/people-pointers-9/tech-tip-tuesday-setting-up-hud-systems-1815https://community.zemax.com/people-pointers-9/tech-tip-tuesday-hud-with-fea-and-the-opticstudio-star-module-1785https://community.zemax.com/people-pointers-9/top-tip-tuesday-hud-1761About stray light analysis, you can refer to：Stray light analysis for Head-up-Display - Part 1 – Knowledgebase (zemax.com)https://support.zemax.com/hc/en-us/articles/4412788138387https://support.zemax.com/hc/en-us/articles/441279397953
Edge Thickness Operand
QUESTION: Is there an optimization operand that ensures that there is air space between lenses when I have chip zone set to non-zero?   ANSWER: There are a couple ways you can do this depending on if you are targeting multiple edge thicknesses or just one. If you are just targeting one, try using the ETGT (Edge Thickness Greater Than) operand. If you leave Code and Mode as 0, it will constrain the Mechanical Semi-Diameter along the +Y axis. Whatever surface you put in, it will make sure that the thickness to the next Mech Semi-Diameter is greater than your target. Just set the target to be 0, and it will make sure that the Chip Zones do not cross over each other. If you want to target multiple surfaces, try using MNET (Minimum Edge Thickness). This will allow you to put a range of surfaces to be greater than the specified value. Again use the Mechanical Semi-Diameter by entering “0” in the Mode column.
Why the polychromatic MTF is further degraded than the MTF at the individual wavelengths?
While the MTF at each individual wavelength in your system may be good, if the system has some chromatic aberration then this means that the individual wavelengths are offset from each other. Therefore, when the results of the individual wavelengths are combined you will get a reduced value of the polychromatic MTF. Let's say, for example, that you have excellent monochromatic modulation, say 90% at each of three wavelengths individually. But if you have lateral color, the peaks and valleys of each wavelength are offset from each other. The polychromatic intensity modulation gets reduced since it never goes as low as the individual monochromatic intensities do. So you may get a much lower modulation, like 40% polychromatically.
OpticsTalk: Simulate the final imaging result - all you need to know about Image Simulation
Image Simulation is an extremely powerful tool to generate a simulated final image for evaluating the imaging quality of a lens system. Due to its complex nature, it's not easy to get all the settings correct. In this talk let's dive into what’s happening behind the screen and the correct way of simulating a proper image.
[Webinar] Speeding Up Optical Design with AnsysNews
This thread will be used to collect questions before the webinar, and to answer any questions we received during the webinar. Feel free to post your questions! Be sure to subscribe to this thread if you want to see additional discussion regarding this topic. The thread will be open to comments until Thursday, March 31st. Webinar details:Register here: [The event has concluded]Date: Thursday, March 24thTime: 6:00am PST & 11:00am PSTPresenters:Tom Pickering, Manager Product Management for Ansys ZemaxJames Pond, Principle Product Manager for Ansys Lumerical Abstract: Optical design has long been constrained by the lack of being able to design the optics and photonic components in one workflow. This webinar explores how the new connection between Ansys Zemax and Ansys Lumerical accelerates optical design time today and in the future. We will showcase some example workflows that combine your optical simulations with other Ansys solutions such as Ansys Speos and Ansys optiSLang to deliv
Tech Tip Tuesday: HUD with FEA and the OpticStudio STAR Module
HUD or Head Up Displays are a form of AR/VR technology (Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality). This has been a disruptive technology from its inception. A technology that began in the aerospace and defense industry, has since permeated commercial aircraft, automotive, heavy construction equipment, consumer electronics and many more. As this technology reaches more real-world applications, we need to consider the impact environment has on the optical elements in these systems. When temperature and pressure change, the housing holding the optics change, placing external forces on those optics, plus the temperature and pressure can provide a direct source of deformation to the optical system. The OpticStudio STAR Module allows FEA data about structural and thermal changes to the optical elements to be imported to OpticStudio and then analyze the results using the same analytic tools used to design the system.The top tech tip this Tuesday, there is now a script for Ansys Workbench that faci
Tech Tip Tuesday: STAR with Mobile Phones and Mobile LiDAR
When designing cell phones and mobile LiDAR applications, or really any system with motion, vibration and shock can be a concern. One technique used by both cell phone and aero-space applications is to use step mounts on the optical elements to keep their motion more ridged. The issue with designing this type of step and testing the effects of FEA are how to integrate the optic with the step.Today’s Tuesday Tech Tip is how to create a step mount and run a STOP analysis on the system. Creating these steps in a CAD platform and making the distance between the lens and the step a nominal size is the first step. Using a CAD tool that allows optical properties and ray tracing such as OpticsBuilder or Speos will help with this process. Next the FEA software needs to allow this nominal distance to be perceived as ideal for transferring forces and thermal effects. This will allow both thermal and structural data to run on the new combined optic of the lens and step as though it were a monolith
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