You are here
Compact High-Degrees-of-Freedom Freeform Beam-Expander Optics
Phone: (971) 223-5646
Phone: (503) 260-6869
To address the need for compact, lightweight, and cost-effective high-magnification beam-expanding optics for missions such as NASA Langley Research Centerrsquo;s Doppler Aerosol Wind (DAWN) lidar system, a Voxtel-led teammdash;including Dr. Julie Bentley of Bentley Optical Design, collocated with the Institute of Opticsnbsp; at the University of Rochestermdash;proposes to implement a novel distortion-free beam-expanding optical assembly based on 3D freeform gradient-index (GRIN) optical materials. Specifically in this effort, the goal is to implement a very compact folded-light-path four-mirror beam expander, optimized for 2,053-nm wavelength laser light, that implements a custom-engineered aberration-reducing 3D GRIN phase-corrector plate (PCP) to simultaneously minimize aberrations and maximize beam quality.The PCP will be manufactured using Voxtelrsquo;s Volumetric Index-of-Refraction Gradient-Index Optics (VIRGO) technology platform, which deposits variable index-of-refraction transparent nanocomposite materials with optical properties that vary voxel by voxel in an additive manufacturing process to realize high-performance freeform GRIN optics. The ability to form freeform gradient optical-index functions enables the use of previously unavailable complex higher-order polynomial functions in optical path design, while also providing the capability to reduce geometric and chromatic aberrations.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *