Abstract

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.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. C. W. Chen, “Application of diffractive optical elements in visible and infrared optical systems,” in Lens Design, W. J. Smith, ed., Vol. CR41 of SPIE Critical Reviews Series (SPIE Press, Bellingham, Wash., 1992), pp. 158–171.
  2. C. W. Chen, “Optical element employing aspherical and binary grating optical surfaces,” U.S. patent5,044,706. Assigned to Raytheon Systems Company. (3September1991).

Chen, C. W.

C. W. Chen, “Optical element employing aspherical and binary grating optical surfaces,” U.S. patent5,044,706. Assigned to Raytheon Systems Company. (3September1991).

C. W. Chen, “Application of diffractive optical elements in visible and infrared optical systems,” in Lens Design, W. J. Smith, ed., Vol. CR41 of SPIE Critical Reviews Series (SPIE Press, Bellingham, Wash., 1992), pp. 158–171.

Other

C. W. Chen, “Application of diffractive optical elements in visible and infrared optical systems,” in Lens Design, W. J. Smith, ed., Vol. CR41 of SPIE Critical Reviews Series (SPIE Press, Bellingham, Wash., 1992), pp. 158–171.

C. W. Chen, “Optical element employing aspherical and binary grating optical surfaces,” U.S. patent5,044,706. Assigned to Raytheon Systems Company. (3September1991).

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Figures (11)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Visible-band testbed system showing the DOE projector, the camera lens, and the binoculars.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Optical layout of the DOE projector optics (to scale).

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Geometric aberration curves of the DOE projector. Paraxial characteristics: maximum object angle, 3.68°; entrance-pupil radius, 2.54 cm; exit-pupil radius, 2.37 cm; EFL, 8.88 cm; f-number, 1.75. The solid curves represent a wavelength of 550.0 nm, the dotted–dashed curves 486.1 nm, and the dashed curves 656.3 nm.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

MTF resolution of the DOE projector.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Schematic of the LASTS.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

CCD output images on the computer display.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Scatter measurement at a 632.8-nm wavelength: The filled circles represent the 50-mm lens, the filled squares the lens-plus-DOE combination, and the solid curve the aperture diffraction.

Fig. 8
Fig. 8

Scatter measurement at a 514.5-nm wavelength: The filled circles represent the 50-mm lens, the filled squares the lens-plus-DOE combination, and the solid curve the aperture diffraction.

Fig. 9
Fig. 9

Scatter measurement at a 488-nm wavelength: The filled circles represent the 50-mm lens, the filled squares the lens-plus-DOE combination, and the solid curve the aperture diffraction.

Fig. 10
Fig. 10

Measured MTF performance: The DOE projector results are compared with the results for the Nikon camera lens.

Fig. 11
Fig. 11

Graphics used for image evaluation: (a) contrast checkerboard, (b) resolution patterns, (c) multiple-order image distinction.

Tables (1)

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Table 1 Results of Direct Visual Testing and Projector Evaluation

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