The field of geometrical optics, instrument design and development is undergoing a curious change. Production as measured by the number of units appears to be going steadily downward while activity and interest in special items is rapidly increasing. We face the problem of needing highly advanced techniques, facilities, and special materials without the demand for production. In the past the promise of large production has ensured an advance in the state of the art; with this removed how can we justify the manufacture of such things as special optical glass, expensive aspheric grinding machines, and fifty-layer interference filters? This paper describes the field of geometrical optics and suggests ways in which the computer can help us clearly define our needs and allow us to sharpen up requirements so that the smaller production runs will be of widespread use. Testing and manufacturing techniques are discussed in order to suggest ways of streamlining our efforts.
© 1962 Optical Society of AmericaFull Article | PDF Article
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