Advanced Path Analysis
Eliminate unwanted light paths in your most challenging designs. Zemax can break down light into constituent paths to eliminate glint, glare and problem light. Use convenient visual and table formats to quickly verify design performance, light paths and energy distribution.
Advanced Path Analysis automates and refines one of the most tiresome problems in tracking down the sources of stray and unwanted light.
Imagine that you have a problem with some stray light, glint or glare in your optical system, or better, that you want to avoid having that kind of problem. Using a non-sequential ray-trace with ray-splitting, scattering, opto-mechanical effects, etc. will accurately predict the problem, but you want to know where the problem is coming from, so you can fix it! Here's how the new Path Analysis capability in Zemax Premium helps you.
Here's a file in which we have traced many rays, with ray splitting and scattering functions applies, and saved them to a ray database. You can see that there are so many rays that you cannot even make them out in the layout. So, we'll do the simple thing first and apply a filter so we see only those rays that actually land on the detector.
The question is now, what are the paths that the rays can take to get onto this detector, and which are the most important paths? Rather than having you make up filter strings by hand, Zemax Premium can read the ray database and parse out all possible ray paths, and accumulate rays into the specific paths for you. You can then give these paths meaningful names, and Zemax will sort them according to criteria you specify. In this case, let's look at the paths in order of the total amount of energy in each path:
You can also use the paths in the layout plots to show as many or few paths as you like:
So you can easily see how energy is getting onto the places of interest in your system. Advanced Path Analysis is fantastically useful for identifying unintended light paths in your optical systems before they go into prototype or production manufacture, and is a breakthrough feature available in Zemax Premium.