Chapter 4Evaluation: How Good Is This Design?

4.1 The Uses of a Preliminary Evaluation

At some point in the process of designing an optical system, the designer must decide whether the design is good enough for the application at hand. With modern computing power, it is not a difficult matter to calculate the modulation transfer function (MTF) or the point spread function (PSF), and to accurately include the effects of diffraction in the calculations. The process does consume a finite amount of time (which, on a slow computer, may be a significant amount), and it is useful to be able to make an estimate of the system performance from a more limited amount of ongoing data. A reasonable estimate can avoid wasting time and computer paper in evaluating ...

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