Monocentric lenses have proven exceptionally capable of high numerical aperture
wide-field imaging - provided the overall system can accommodate a spherically curved image
surface. This is a summary of recent work on the design optimization and experimental
demonstrations of monocentric wide-field imaging, including systems based on waveguide
coupling of the image to conventional focal plane sensor(s).
Monocentric lenses have recently changed from primarily a historic curiosity to a potential solution for panoramic high-resolution imagers, where the spherical image surface is directly detected by curved image sensors or optically transferred onto multiple conventional flat focal planes. We compare imaging and waveguide-based transfer of the spherical image surface formed by the monocentric lens onto planar image sensors, showing that both approaches can make the system input aperture and resolution substantially independent of the input angle. We present aberration analysis that demonstrates that wide-field monocentric lenses can be focused by purely axial translation and describe a systematic design process to identify the best designs for two-glass symmetric monocentric lenses. Finally, we use this approach to design an F ∕1.7, 12 mm focal length imager with an up to 160° field of view and show that it compares favorably in size and performance to conventional wide-angle imagers.
Joe Ford, Igor Stamenov, Stephen J. Olivas, Glenn Schuster, Nojan Motamedi, Ilya Agurok (UCSD PSILab)
Ron Stack, Adam Johnson, and Rick Morrison (Distant Focus Corporation)
J. Ford, I. Stamenov, S. Olivas, G. Schuster, N. Motamedi, I. Agurok, R. Stack, A. Johnson, and R. Morrison, "Fiber-coupled Monocentric Lens Imaging," in Imaging and Applied Optics, J. Christou and D. Miller, eds., OSA Technical Digest (online) (Optical Society of America, 2013), paper CW4C.2.
I. Stamenov, I. Agurok, and J. Ford, "Capabilities of monocentric objective lenses," in Imaging and Applied Optics, J. Christou and D. Miller, eds., OSA Technical Digest (online) (Optical Society of America, 2013), paper ITu3E.4.