An optical system producing an annular cone of radiation from a point source using a low profile front lens is shown to have application as a beacon for high speed vehicles. The system comprises a high pressure short arc light source with axial electrodes and integral collector, a conical reflector, and a divergent meniscus lens that has low protrusion over the surface of the vehicle. The system has minimal drag, and the radiation is distributed in directions close to the plane perpendicular to the optical axis. The influences of various parameters such as lens camber, lens aperture, source size, collector shape, collection efficiency, and beam divergence are discussed. A prototype was built at Eimac Division of Varian using a xenon short arc lamp with metal ceramic structure and integral collector.
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