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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Source Files for Light Source Analysis
SDF Files for use in Light Source Analysis can be generated using native Zemax NSC source objects. The default extension for saving rays during a NSC trace is .ZRD. But Allie Culler pointed out that there are instructions for saving rays to source files in "The Analyze Tab (non-sequential ui mode) > Trace Rays Group > Ray Trace."
Analyticals change with thermal results and differing license levels. Why?
This is a situation that may arise for users with a Standard license if you are collaborating with colleagues using a Professional or Premium license. Each license level has an increasing set of features and abilities, and one of these is that the higher two levels support the use of Mechanical Semi-Diameters (MSD) and Chip Zones. These allow the user to account for mechanical mounting by extending the surface area beyond the optically used region, either by extending the surface shape or by protruding a flat extension around the edges beyond the Clear Semi-Diameter (CSD). The purpose of these options is to more easily account for mechanical issues when designing a system. In optical terms, these have no direct effect. They do, however, have an indirect but measurable effect when performing thermal analysis because they directly affect the changes made with temperature.Users familiar with the Make Thermal tool will recall that thicknesses, curvatures, and other mechanical parameters ch
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
OS tips & discussion - POP Pilot Beam Position Sign
In the POP analysis, we see the Pilot beam position being reported at the bottom of the window. This beam position can be either positive or negative depending on the position of the Pilot beam waist relative to current surface. The sign of this Pilot beam Position follows a simple rule. If the current surface is to the right of the Pilot beam waist location, the Position has a positive sign; if the current surface is to the left of the Pilot Waist, then it’s a negative sign. To confirm this, I placed the beam waist on surface 2 below. You can see in the POP text pane, the Pilot beam Position on surface 3 is reported as positive 20 mm, because surface 3 lies to the right of surface 2 which is the beam waist location. POP Pilot Beam PositionYou can find this description in the Help file at The Analyze Tab (sequential ui mode) > Laser and Fibers Group > Gaussian Beams > Paraxial Gaussian BeamPOP Beam Position help description
OS tips & discussion – Operand to report spot size in X or Y direction separately
In OpticStudio Sequential mode, one can use the Spot Diagram to view the RMS spot radius. And you can use operand such as RSCE, RSCH, RSRE, and RSRH to report this radial RMS spot size into the Merit Function Editor for optimization. However, if your system provides a non-circular spot, you might want to know the spot size along the X or Y direction separately and might want to optimize the X or Y spot size individually. When you go to the Text tab of the Spot Diagram window, you can view the RMS spot size in X or Y direction, but the RSCE/RSRE operands only report the radial spot size and cannot report the size along the X or Y direction separately.One thing you can do is to create a ZPL macro to pull data from the Spot Diagram Text tab and then use the ZPLM operand to return these X/Y spot size into the Merit Function Editor for optimization. However, this takes some programming effort and also having the ZPLM operand in the MFE might slow down the optimization process.Another approa
How to calculate the solid angle for a pixel in angle space
The definition of a solid angle can be found in the Wiki.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid_angleFrom the Wiki, you may know a solid angle can be calculated from the following formula.（Eq.１）And the relationship between (θx,θy) and (θ,φ) is as shown in the following equation.The variables in (Eq 1) are (θ,φ). We will convert them to (θx,θy) by the way of variable transformation.https://math.libretexts.org/Courses/Monroe_Community_College/MTH_212_Calculus_III/Chapter_14%3A_Multiple_Integration/14.7%3A_Change_of_Variables_in_Multiple_Integrals_(Jacobians) Finally we can get the result as below.（Eq. 2）(Eq. 2) can be used to calculate the solid angle from a specific pixel coordinate.However, there is no analytical solution for this equation. We know that a numerical solution can be calculated.In fact, our algorithm is not this method. When OpticStudio calculate the radiant intensity, a iteration method is used.Theoretically, the result is the same. One of our users has verified this.
Tech Tip Tuesday: Modelling Illumination Systems
To model lighting systems, or non-imaging illumination systems, the design method that immediately comes to mind is non-sequential ray tracing. And OpticStudio can certainly prove quite efficient in this area! Yet, it can be wise to have a look at your global workflow here; and take advantage of OpticStudio sequential mode as well!Indeed, sequential mode being significantly quicker, you can use it to model, and optimize your optics very efficiently. You can include complex surfaces such as freeform, and still save time and efforts in the process.The following example illustrates the optimization of a LED pendant luminaire: An optimized workflow could then look like :Sketch out ideas Simple fan of rays, generate starting design using OpticStudio sequential mode Convert your system from sequential to non-sequential, inside OpticStudioAnd then in OpticStudio non-sequential mode :Check: Source Point Check: Source Rectangle Check: Source FileAnd, if needed: (re)Optimize either in sequentia
Top Tip Tuesday 4-12-22 Ansys Mechanical and OpticStudio STAR Module
Top Tip Tuesday Ansys Mechanical and OpticStudio STAR ModuleAs many know, the OpticStudio STAR module has always been FEA agnostic. Integration with other Ansys tools has lead to a workflow that streamlines the process and allows greater fidelity.Design, optimize and perform tolerancing as you typically would in OpticStudio. Build CAD and other mechanical components, including those interacting with optics. Note; OpticsBuilder, SPEOS, SpaceClaim, Mechanical, Discovery and other tools can help facilitate this need depending on the specific case. Export the design for FEA analysis. Bring the components from OpticStudio and CAD into Ansys Mechanical, materials and initial conditions can also be imported.It is possible to leverage WorkBench, bringing in any physics that are necessary, Fluent, Mechanical, Icepack, etc. What if studies are made easy with WorkBench as variables are parametrized and can be passed between programs.Define the mesh and apply mesh control with a finer mesh in are
Tech Tip Tuesday 12/14/21, Automotive Lighting
Explore how multi-physics simulation can take the guess work out of design, reducing the need for expensive and time consuming lab tests. Take it a step further, simulate real world use cases, there by reducing the number of field testing scenarios needed. An evolving industry, automotive lighting used to be a lot of trial and error, now simulation has become the rule rather than the exception. For internal lighting, plastic fiber would be sanded by hand with various grit paper and then tested in a prototype lab to “see” the effects. With OpticStudio fiber of various geometry, coatings, materials and textures can be simulated in a fraction of the time a physical test requires. Headlamps, taillights and reflectors were built in much the same way, a design was built and tested in the lab. OpticStudio can take the initial design, optimize the design, even allowing for material substitutions and run tolerancing, all of which would take far more time if done manually. Now with the tools o
Tech Tip Tuesday: Automotive lighting curvature solver
Authored by: @Gernot.Blobel More and more precise camera and projection systems are required in automotive interior and exterior lighting. Headlamps for adaptive driving beams and projections onto the road need an accurate and sharp image. AR applications and the projection of warning notices require such a high quality that the field of view and the distance help with the accurate calculation.With Zemax OpticStudio you can accurately calculate automotive lighting systems, e.g. the projection lens for a headlamp. Starting the lens design and optimization in the sequential mode, the Field Data Editor will help you to define the field of view. Suppose you want a solution that automatically sets the radius of the object plane equal to the Petzval curvature. Of course, always start by checking that a solve isn’t already supported before writing a macro! The existing PETC macro solution (linked below) calculates the Petzval curvature of the system and returns the value to OpticStudio.In th
Tech Tip Tuesday: Infrared Systems and Coatings
Thermal imagining consists of a pretty wide part of the spectrum containing three main groups with multiple sub-bands within each. So, what happens if we want a particular wavelength or want to filter all but a few select wavelengths, such as a specific sub-band of an IR-band? This is where coatings can help. Coatings in OpticStudio can be handled in a number of ways, off the shelf coatings can be used and called in the coat/scatter section under properties, encrypted coatings from vendors can be used allowing the optical simulation to be accurate while protecting the vendors formula of the coating. The Essential Macleod package can be used to design a coating and export a coating file that OpticStudio can read. Finally, my favorite method is to create your own coating as it offers the greatest control shown below, there are a few ways to do this and your custom coating can even be turned into an encrypted coating if you are working with outside contractors or joint venture projects wh
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
I’d like to go ahead and introduce myself briefly. I joined Zemax in January of 2019 as an Optical Engineer working on OpticStudio support. Prior to that I have worked for Boeing and for the European Southern Observatory headquarters as well as some other educational forays into the intellectual worlds of sciences and humanities. My educational background is primarily from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of New Mexico, heavily emphasizing optical physics.Besides work, I enjoy various RPGs and board games, reading about history, and watching too much Star Wars and Star Trek.
Contrast Dye and Vein Network
Tech Tip Tuesday 3/15/22Robotic surgery is becoming increasingly prevalent within the medical field, and optics plays an important role within these devices. There are a few areas that optics touch in the medical field with respect to robotic surgery. Other articles and posts have touched on the use of endoscopic cameras and machine learning. Photoluminescence is another topic in this field in the form of phosphorescence and fluorescence modeling to simulate the use of contrast dyes to highlight cavities or vessels. There are also fiber and laser applications for use with both scalpel and cauterization, which will be examined in other articles. This also ties back to other topics we have written on, including tissue modeling. We will now take our human tissue model a step further with the inclusion of blood vessels and contrast dye, which can help highlight the blood vessels or other cavities in the flesh. Revisiting our simple tissue model from last month, you may recall that we had
Hi Community! Allow me to introduce myself.My name is Flurin Herren, and I am the Optomechanical Engineer for the European CS Team here at Zemax. I have a degree in Microtechnology and Medical Technology with a specialisation in Optics and Photonics where I mostly worked in the field of Optical Coherence Tomography and one in Mechanical Engineering where I specialised in CAD, CAM, and prototype manufacturing.Outside work you`ll probably find me on a trip with my Triumph bike, hiking somewhere in the beautiful Alpes or running / cycling through the city to meet some friends.Feel free to reach out to me anytime, but you will only get the super bonus digital high-five if you reach out to me about OptitcsBuilder .
Another Zemax Staffer introduction :)
My name is Kats Ikeda, and I am the Regional Customer Success Manager for the APAC region for the Zemax Customer Success Division. I’ve been with Zemax for a little over two years, initially as Principal Optical Engineer. Before joining Zemax, I worked for a plastic lens manufacturing company and designed a vast array of optical systems, such as cell phone lenses, automotive headlamps, backlight displays, HMD prisms, micro lens diffusers, laser scanning units, and telecommunication lenses. So, safe to say you can ask me about a lot of things. In my spare time, I made a website about optical design. I write about the basics of optical design, not so much how to use software.https://www.pencilofrays.com/blog/Yes, even my hobby involves optics and lens design, so I have been bit by the optics bug pretty hard. It must have been radioactive.Apart from optics, I have a young family in Japan. I love to prepare food for my children, and love it even more when they enjoy it.
Tech Tip Tuesday: Choosing the right materials for a broadband optical system
In a previous Tech Tip, we discussed the importance of spectral filtering for infrared systems in design and system simulations. But what about when the system requires a broad spectral imaging solution? How can a designer correct for microns of bandwidth within a single system? One historical method of color correction is to select three starting optical materials for a Cooke Triplet design form… graphically. Elements in this design would then be added or split as needed, gradually expanding the design out. This initial selection process becomes less accurate as the bandwidth of the optical system increases. A lack of precision during a design exercise lends to an increased risk of failed prototypes.Instead, you can use OpticStudio’s “Glass Substitution” tool to automate the materials selection process, swapping out individual or multiple materials during optimization routines. This allows material selection to effectively be an optimization variable, while always landing on a real
Tech Tip Tuesday: Photolithography & STAR 5-10-22
Tech Tip Tuesday 5-10-22 Photolithography; a workflow with STAR & Fluent Photolithography can be used to pattern wafers for semiconductor applications today, but it’s history goes back a lot further than that. Around the time that Joseph Niepce a French inventor created the halftone process for photography, two French printers Alfred Lemercier and Alphonse Poitevin began putting it to use experimenting with photolithography. The technique originally involved a stone plate with water and light, which is where the name comes from, it is Greek, photo = litho, and graphy = stone. The technique of photolithography would be used for engraving from the 1800’s through the 1900’s. By the 1950’s Jay Lathrop and James Nall who were working for the military at a group that would later become part of the ARL (Army Research Laboratory) would use the technique to miniaturize electronic circuits, giving us the first application of how we use it with semiconductors today.The process used for
Visualize the polarization direction for different references
In the Help file, we can find the following description.The Setup Tab > System Group (the Setup Tab) > System Explorer > Polarization (System Explorer) > Defining the Initial Polarization These can be visulzied as below. The pythone code to draw is this provded for reference.Enjoy!
Hi Everyone!My name is Jordan Teich and I am working from Boston as an Optical Engineer on the Zemax Customer Success team. I only just joined the team in early 2021, but I’ve had a great experience here so far! Before joining Zemax, I received my B.S. in Optical Engineering at the University of Rochester. After graduating, I worked as an Optical Test Engineer in the aerospace industry for ~4.5 years. It was a fast-paced environment where I was able to run optical tests for a number of interesting space payloads and sub-assemblies! I loved getting the chance to work with cutting edge space products.Besides working, I love spending time outside playing tennis, hiking any nearby mountains, or exploring new areas on my bike. You will also often find me watching older movies that are playing at one of the repertory theatres in the Boston area. Looking forward to talking with you all on the new forums!
Top Tip Tuesday: HUD
For the initial setup and performance evaluation of an HUD (head-up display) system there are two handy tools in Zemax OpticStudio: The Field Wizard will help you to set up the Field Data Editor with the most common requirements and to automatically create field patterns.The Full-Field Aberration analysis tool will give you quickly access to analyze the aberrations as a function of field position, e.g. of your windshield. It calculates the Zernike decomposition of the wavefront and displays the Zernike coefficients across the full field of view. This analysis can be particularly useful on systems containing freeform surfaces to verify aberration correction across the specified field. The further optical design of the HUD will start at correcting for the aberrations. Want to learn more? Join our upcoming webinar: Stray light analysis for HUD systems on November 18th, 2021 - http://ow.ly/75xR50GJtcoReference:Which-tools-to-use-when-working-on-a-Head-up-Displayhttp://ow.ly/Ob6m50GJtcn
Tech Tip Tuesday: Thermal camera simulation
In a previous tech tip, we discussed the importance of the choice of materials and coatings for infrared (thermal) systems in achieving an optical system design to match imaging performance targets. But the story doesn’t end with the optical components; an accurate representation of the blackbody emitter and detector are also required! Modeling a radiating objectThermal radiation of objects can be easily and accurately modelled using the Black Body Spectrum setting in OpticStudio, defined by a temperature in Kelvin. As an example, say we are designing a camera to image object radiation in the target temperature range between -45°C and +75°C. We can use Planck’s blackbody radiation law to determine that we need a wavelength range from 3 to 40 μm. OpticStudio then determines the relative weights of each wavelength in this range for the desired blackbody. Blackbody emitter source modelOf course, to properly model the system, the material information needs to cover the whole range of wavel
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
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