## Abstract

An improved method of backward ray tracing is proposed according to the theory of geometrical optics and thermal radiation heat transfer. The accuracy is essentially raised comparing to the traditional backward ray tracing because ray orders and weight factors are taken into account and the process is designed as sequential and recurring steps to trace and calculate different order stray lights. Meanwhile, it needs very small computation comparing to forward ray tracing because irrelevant surfaces and rays are excluded from the tracing. The effectiveness was verified in the stray radiation analysis for a cryogenic infrared (IR) imaging system, as the results coincided with the actual stray radiation irradiance distributions in the real images. The computation amount was compared with that of forward ray tracing in the narcissus calculation for another cryogenic IR imaging system, it was found that to produce the same accuracy result, the computation of the improved backward ray tracing is far smaller than that of forward ray tracing by at least 2 orders of magnitude.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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