A novel design for an all-reflective unobscured optical-power zoom (OPZ) objective with a zoom factor of 3 is presented. In contrast to OPZ objectives based on liquid lenses, all-reflective objectives use only reflective elements and are therefore free of chromatic aberrations. Thus, they can be used for a wide spectral range or in combination with image sensors that differ in their spectral characteristics. To avoid a decrease in image contrast encountered in on-axis designs with central obscuration, an unobscured off-axis or “Schiefspiegler” approach is adopted. The effective focal length of the objective is changed by two deformable mirrors, each with one actuator only. The simulated final design shows adequate image quality over the whole zooming range. Before starting the complex and cost-intensive development of deformable mirrors with the size, curvature, and dynamic range needed, the optical design should be evaluated first with respect to the practical achievable optical performance. Therefore, optomechanical setups with ultraprecision-manufactured solid mirrors were realized for three different focal lengths.
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David S. Grey
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