Jul 6, 2020

Customizing OpticStudio to deliver substantial improvements in image quality for endoscopes

Category: Product News

Endoscopes are highly sophisticated medical instruments consisting of a long thin tube attached to a light and video camera which uses fiber optics and powerful lens systems to enable medical professionals to peer inside a body for diagnostics, biopsy, and surgery. 

High-precision endoscopes require unusually complex optical design solutions, which is one of the sophisticated instruments that German based Henke-Sass, Wolf produces. As part of our series on life sciences and medicine, we spoke with Oliver Rehe, Group Manager, Advanced Technology Development at Henke-Sass, Wolf to discuss how the company is committed to developing innovative new techniques and solutions on an ongoing basis.

Every day, Rehe and his team are faced with intriguing design challenges. Their high-precision imaging systems require extremely precise tolerances to achieve diffraction-limited performance. This is difficult to achieve because the endoscopes can include as many as 50 optical surfaces.  Further, because the optic diameters are extremely small—from 1.1mm to 7mm—the surfaces are hard to manufacture and handle.  Depending on the length and numerical aperture a specific number of relay stages is required which introduce additional aberrations and tolerances causing errors in rotational symmetric irregularity (RSI) tolerancing. The challenges with the RSI tolerancing affected both the workflow for the designers and the manufacturing process.

Rehe discusses how customizing OpticStudio using the Zemax OpticStudio application programming interface (ZOS-API) was a huge step forward in being able to specify RSI in a sensible way. 

Read the customer story on how Rehe and the team at Henke-Sass, Wolf corrected the RSI errors and used both OpticStudio and OpticsViewer together to greatly improve the engineer-to-manufacturing workflow to fulfill the company’s vision of improving the image quality for endoscopes.