October 16, 2017

New Moore-Elliott method optimizes for MTF at least 10x faster

Contrast Optimization, a new capability in OpticStudio 17, uses the Moore-Elliott method to optimize for MTF

New Moore-Elliott method optimizes for MTF at least 10x faster

Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) is an important metric for characterizing the performance of an optical system. MTF describes the contrast of a spatial frequency in a scene. Its optimization is especially useful for extended images that have cutoff frequencies set by the detector pixel size, because lower spatial frequencies can be improved at the expense of higher, unneeded frequencies.

Until now, the only way to optimize for the best MTF was to optimize directly on the MTF value, but this is computationally expensive, slow, and difficult to do—and it often fails.

To overcome these problems, Zemax has developed an optimization theory called Contrast Optimization, which uses the Moore-Elliott method to target the best MTF response up to a desired spatial frequency. This groundbreaking method adds a new criterion, called Contrast, in the Optimization Wizard in OpticStudio 17. Building a Contrast merit function populates the Merit Function Editor with MECS, MECT, MECA, MECX, and MECN operands.

“Contrast Optimization significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to design optical systems with MTF specifications, like cell phone cameras or digital microscopes,” said Kristen Norton, OpticStudio Product Manager. “We’re excited about providing customers with a faster and more reliable way to get their optical designs to market faster.”

Benefits of Contrast Optimization include:

  • Specific targeting - It can target a specific spatial frequency in the MTF

  • Faster calculations - It’s much faster than calculating MTF directly—as fast as wavefront optimization

  • Reliability - The theory works even when MTF behaves badly due to poor design starting points

To learn more about Contrast Optimization, watch our on-demand webinar with Erin Elliott, Principal Optical Engineer, as she explains:

  • The theory behind Contrast Optimization

  • How to use Contrast Optimization to achieve the best MTF values 

  • Why Contrast Optimization is more robust than direct optimization of the MTF 

  • How Contrast Optimization simplifies the optimization parameter space to find the best possible design more quickly

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