SPIE - The International Society for Optics and Photonics

Practical Optical System Design (SC003)


This course will provide attendees with a basic working knowledge of optical design and associated engineering. The information in this course will help novice and experienced designers, as well as people who interact with optical designers and engineers, sufficiently understand these problems and solutions to minimize cost and risk. The course includes background information for optical design and an array of pragmatic considerations such as optical system specification, analysis of optical systems, material selection, use of catalog systems and components, ultraviolet through infrared system considerations, environmental factors and solutions, Gaussian beam optics, and production considerations such as optical testing and alignment.

The course includes practical and useful examples emphasizing rigorous optical design and engineering with an emphasis on designing for manufacture. Even if you have never used an optical design program before, you will become fluent with how to estimate, assess, execute, and manage the design of optical systems for many varied applications. This course is a continuation of the long-running Practical Optical Systems Design course established and taught by Robert E. Fischer.

This course will enable you to:

  • develop a complete optical system design specification
  • highlight fundamental physics and engineering related to optical design
  • establish a general basis for modeling optical systems using computer-aided methods
  • analyze and organize system considerations to incorporate such as environmental factors
  • design for manufacture, alignment, and testing
  • describe multiple key aspects of optical engineering for successfully transitioning from concept to production

This course is intended for anyone who needs to learn how to engineer optical systems. It will be of value to those who either design their own optics or those who work directly or indirectly with optical designers, as you will now understand what is really going on and how to ask the right questions of your designers.

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