Raytheon has designed, fabricated, and tested a diffractive-optical-element–based (DOE-based) testbed projector for direct and indirect visual optical applications. By use of a low-cost replicated DOE surface from Rochester Photonics Corporation for color correction the projector optics bettered the modular transfer function of an equivalent commercial camera lens. The testbed demonstrates that a practical DOE-based optical system is suitable for both visual applications (e.g., head-mounted displays) and visual projection (e.g., tactical sensors). The need for and the proper application of DOE’s in visual optical systems, the nature and the performance of the projector optical design, and test results are described.
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