Abstract

The space camera with variable focal length is capable of capturing images with variable resolution and variable field of view. This is useful for space-borne reconnaissance because the camera can switch between coarse and fine reconnaissance flexibly. However, the traditional optical zooming relies on moving elements which might influence the momentum balance of the satellite platform. Therefore, we present a prototype design using the piezo deformable mirror (PDM) to realize an all-reflective optical bifocal zooming system. By changing the curvature radius of the PDM, the focal length can be switched between 48 and 192 mm without moving elements involved. With the focal length experiencing 4× magnification, the system performance is still approaching diffraction-limited performance, and the maximum stroke of the PDM is also within its physical limits. Experiments demonstrate that the principle is correct and the design is successful.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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