Optical design with orthogonal surface descriptions

G. W. Forbes, Christoph Menke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Gradient-orthogonal representations of aspheric shapes give a more effective and intuitive characterization that also copes with increasingly complex surfaces. Further, we have seen a range of applications where standard design codes (including CodeV® and Zemax®) can find systems with better optical performance when optimized in this representation. The examples presented here include a system with no global axis of symmetry and another with freeform surfaces. In all these particular cases, the end results can be retro-fitted in terms of conventional representations, but the optimizers fail to find the superior solutions unless an orthogonal basis is employed during the design process. Because the communication of shape is so much more effective in terms of a gradient-orthogonal description, our results give added motivation for the communities of design, fabrication, and testing to gain more experience with this new convention.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptifab 2013
EditorsJulie L. Bentley, Matthias Pfaff
Place of PublicationBellingham, Washington
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780819497475
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventOptifab 2013 - Rochester, NY, United States
Duration: 14 Oct 201317 Oct 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherOptifab 2013
CountryUnited States
CityRochester, NY


  • Aspheres
  • Freeform optics
  • Optical design
  • Optimization
  • Orthogonal polynomials

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