Abstract

The aperture field integration method (AFIM) is proposed and utilized to efficiently compute the field distributions of infrared/microwave (IR/MW) micro-mirror array beam combiners, including the MW near-field distribution and the IR far-field distribution. The MW near-field distributions of single-dielectric-layer beam combiners with 1, 11, and 101 micromirrors are analyzed by AFIM. Compared to the commonly used multilevel fast multipole method (MLFMM) in the computation of MW near-field distribution, the memory requirement and CPU time consumption are reduced drastically from 16.92 GB and 3.26 h to 0.66 MB and 0.55 s, respectively. The calculation accuracy is better than 96%, when the MW near-field distribution is computed. The IR far-field computational capability is validated by comparing the results obtained through AFIM and experiment. The MW near field and IR far field of a circular and a square shape of three-layer micro-mirror array beam combiners are also analyzed. Four indicators Epv, Erms, φpv, and φrms representing the amplitude and phase variations are proposed to evaluate the MW near-field uniformity. The simulation results show that the increase of beam combiner size can improve the uniformity of the MW near field, and that the square shape has less influence on the uniformity of the MW near field than the circular one. The zeroth-order diffraction primary maximum intensity of the IR far field is decreased by 1/cos2α0 times compared to that of the equivalent mirror, where α0 is the oblique angle of each micromirror. When the periodic length of the micro-mirror array is less than 0.1 mm, the position of the secondary maximum will exceed the size of the focal plane array. Simultaneously, the half-width of the zeroth-order diffraction primary maximum is less than the size of a single pixel. Thus, IR images with high quality will be obtained. The simulation results show that the AFIM as a unified method can be applied to design, analyze, evaluate, and optimize IR/MW micro-mirror array beam combiners.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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