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Appl Opt. 2010 Sep 20;49(27):5049-58. doi: 10.1364/AO.49.005049.

Imaging quality evaluation of aerodynamically heated optical dome using ray tracing.

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  • 1Research Center for Space Optical Engineering, P.O. Box 307, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China. xiaohaosu1985@gmail.com


An irregular grid model was employed to describe the refractive index distribution of an aerodynamically heated optical dome according to the theories of thermo-optical and elasto-optical effects. Optical transmission through the dome was simulated using the ray-tracing program based on a fourth-order Runge-Kutta algorithm. Two kinds of imaging quality evaluation parameters were presented, wave aberration of the exit pupil and a modulation transfer function. To validate the ray-tracing program, a ray trace through a regular gradient medium was performed. Results were compared with those obtained from the analytic solution. The program was shown to possess great accuracy by using the appropriate parameters.

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