In many active optical systems where the light is supplied such as a range finder or optical radar (LiDAR), there is a possibility that the detector (pixel) can be destroyed if significant signal is returned or at the very least blinded for a period of time. This is because the designer struggles with the "one over range squared" loss which can amount to significant attenuation in the return signal given the range requirements. When pushing the range limit requirement, the sensor is in need of a large dynamic range detector and/or some form of detector protection when the target is quite close. This work proposes a lens that attempts to compensate for range signal loss passively and instantaneously by combining lens elements in parallel rather than in series as is typically done [Mudge Appl. Opt. 58, (2019)]. The proposed lens is relatively simple and compensates for range albeit not perfectly. Additionally, a discussion is provided to implement this approach along with a variety of examples of a range compensating lens [Phenis et al. Proc. of SPIE, 11125, (2019)]. These designs cover techniques and include some of the penalties incurred.
Jason Mudge is part of an optics consulting firm Golden Gate Light Optimization in San Francisco for the past year, prior with Apple, Inc. for 5yrs, and 15yrs at Lockheed Martin (LM). He received a PhD from UC Davis, and that same year, he joined LM's Controls dept in Sunnyvale where he spent 4yrs on the SBIRS HEO program producing two orbiting satellites. He spent 1yr on Special Programs working as an Optics/Controls CPE, and then transitioned to LM's Advance Technology Center to build HyperSpectral instruments. After completing an MS in Optical Sciences, Jason focused on Polarimetric remote sensing. He collaborated with LM's Solar & Astrophysics Dept on tunable birefringent optical filters and was part of the IRIS satellite program delivering a Solc filter. Jason then moved to a Special Project at Apple working on cameras and depth sensing. Finally, Dr Mudge is consulting (optimizing) on a variety of optical sensors.