Optical design is an intricate process. High-performance optical systems often require various precision optical components, including advanced thin films and custom optical solutions. Modeling and simulation software are crucial to this integration process. They play an important part in modern optical product development.

Intuitive design software offers optical engineers unparalleled depth in simulating a wide range of effects with high precision. Optical simulation software thus plays a vital role in the initial design process. These tools span from high-accuracy ray tracing to customized system design. In this article, we'll explore five essential optical modelling and design tools suitable for a range of applications.

1. Etalon Designer

The Etalon Designer is a sophisticated tool designed for modelling and analyzing the performance of etalons under various conditions. Etalons, thin transparent plates with parallel reflecting surfaces, are crucial in various optical applications. This tool allows users to specify key parameters such as central wavelength, mirror reflectivity, and etalon type (including a range of materials like Air, Calcium Fluoride, Fused Silica, and more). Additionally, users can define sleeve materials and set tolerances for residual power, mirror tilt error, surface irregularity, and input beam divergence. The performance output includes metrics like net finesse, peak transmission, free spectral range, and tuning capabilities (temperature, angle, piezo, and pressure).

2. Etalon Tuning

The Etalon Tuning tool provides a platform for simulating the tuning of etalons based on temperature, angle, thickness/piezo, or pressure. Users can manipulate the central wavelength and mirror separation while observing changes in the tuning type. The tool also offers insights into material properties, presenting details such as short and long wavelength limits, tuning rate, dn/dT, and CTE. We encourage users to submit their models for review or request a quote, highlighting their commitment to supporting and guiding users through the tuning process.

3. Multi-Etalon Designer

Our Multi-Etalon Designer facilitates the design and analysis of systems involving multiple etalons. It allows for the adjustment of parameters like mirror reflectivity, reference multiplier, etalon thickness, and incident angle. Central wavelength, reference mirror separation, clear aperture, and common tolerance parameters are also customizable. Moreover, users can choose from a variety of sleeve materials. The combined performance output of the tool includes free spectral range, bandwidth, net finesse, and leakage, providing a comprehensive overview of the system's optical characteristics.

4. Index & Reflection

The Index & Reflection tool enables the examination of material properties and reflectance characteristics. It supports a wide range of materials, offering insights into indices of refraction, group index, and extraordinary index, among other properties. Users can input parameters like central wavelength, angle of incidence, and material indices to analyze transmission angle, Brewster's angle, reflectance (s and p), and TIR angle. 

5. Gaussian Beam Propagation

This tool is designed to analyze Gaussian beams' propagation characteristics through optical systems. Key parameters include beam waist diameter, full-angle beam divergence, single-mode wavelength, object plane location, and lens elements (focal length and separation). The tool is particularly useful for paraxial ray calculations and applications with negligible lens thickness variation.

Interested in Optical Design Software?

At LightMachinery, we're proud to offer a suite of sophisticated optical design tools, tailored to meet the complex demands of today's optical engineers and designers. Our tools, ranging from etalon design to advanced optical simulations, represent our commitment to precision and innovation in optical solutions. We encourage you to explore these tools further and see how they can transform your design process. Join us at our Optical Design Center to access these state-of-the-art resources and elevate your optical system designs to new heights.