September 22, 2017

Six categories of optical sensors you can design in OpticStudio

By The OpticStudio Team

Six categories of optical sensors you can design in OpticStudio

According to Global Market Insights, the global optical sensor market is expected to exceed $30 billion in the U.S. by 2024. Optical sensors are used in a wide range of industrial, consumer, and scientific applications. These sensors convert light, or a change in light, into an electronic signal. Light can change in intensity, phase, polarization, wavelength, or spectral distribution. OpticStudio, optical and illumination design software, automatically accounts for it all. Here’s how:

Ambient light sensors

OpticStudio can simulate ambient lightsensors, which are found in many consumer items, such as lamps that turn on automatically in response to darkness, camera light meters, nightlights, outdoor clocks, solar street lamps, and more. Ambient light sensors are typically passive sensors, responding to diverse lighting conditions in order to reduce power consumption or provide optimal viewing.

Spotlight feature for ambient light sensor design:
Part designer allows users to design complex, custom CAD components within the OpticStudio environment. Parts remain fully parametric allowing optimization and tolerancing – and easy incorporation of parts into a non-sequential optical system or export to CAD formats.

Color sensors

OpticStudio has capabilities specifically for the design of optical color sensors, which are used in a wide variety of industries and applications, ranging from monitoring color consistency in textile production to monitoring algae blooms. Color sensors may be active sensors, requiring LED sources (white, or red/blue/green) to illuminate the objects under test, or they may be passive sensors, recognizing the wavelengths of self-luminous objects. 

Spotlight feature for color sensor design:
LightningTrace is patent pending raytrace technology that uses ray interpolation to accelerate conventional non-sequential raytracing by orders of magnitude. With OpticStudio design engineers can modify system parameters with real-time results, and accurately optimize and tolerance systems in reasonable time periods.

Proximity sensors

Optical proximity sensors are active sensors that detect the distance, absence, or presence of an object. High sensitivity proximity sensors are used in astronomy, spectroscopy, night vision equipment, and laser range finding. For example, there is a LIDAR camera on the Google car, which uses arrays of 32 or 64 lasers to measure distances and generate a 3D map.

Spotlight feature for proximity sensor design:
Stock lens matching automates the replacement of custom components in a designed system with off-the-shelf (OTS) optics. Search specific vendor catalogs or all of them, and define tolerance ranges to redesign custom components from OTS components, helping you decide whether the performance degradation of OTS components is worth the cost savings.

Movement/presence sensors

Movement and presence sensors are active sensors that detect when an object interrupts a light beam. For example, smartwatches use these sensors to measure the wearer’s heartbeat. With each cardiac cycle the heart pumps blood into the periphery, distending the arteries and arterioles in the subcutaneous tissue, causing a small change in volume. This change is detected by illuminating the skin with the light from an LED, and then measured.

Spotlight feature for movement/presence sensor design:
Laser beam propagation, which accurately models laser beam propagation and fiber coupling efficiency.

Image scanning sensors

Image scanning sensors are active sensors used in devices that scan images, printed text, handwriting, or an object, and converts it to a digital image. This includes mark and code reading and optical character recognition (OCR).

Spotlight feature for image scanning sensors:
Tolerancing, advanced tools and features that help design engineers incorporate manufacturing and assembly limits into design constraints to ensure manufacturability and production efficiency.

Image capture sensors

Image capture sensors can be active or passive, and are used in electronic imaging devices – both analog and digital – which include digital cameras, medical imaging equipment, and night vision equipment like thermal imaging devices, radar, and sonar. 

Spotlight feature for image capture sensors:
Optimization automatically improves the performance of optical/illumination designs based on user-defined constraints, saving time by eliminating manual tests of design iterations.

OpticStudio can be used to design all optical components in active and passive sensor systems. Active sensors include a light source to illuminate an area of interest, and measure the reflected signal, while passive sensors measure energy from other light sources, like the sun, or ambient lighting.

Get a free trial of OpticStudio today.


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