Software Course: “Introduction to the simulation and optimization of laser systems with VirtualLab”
Author: InfoCrops   Time: 2014-12-16 09:32:50

Monday, March 16, 2015 – Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Course Time: 9 am – 5 pm.

Requirements: No knowledge of VirtualLab required.
The software course gives an introduction to the principles of unified optical modeling, field and ray tracing methods of VirtualLab. Components of the user interface of VirtualLab are introduced and the different types of documents are discussed in detail. Participants will learn step by step about components, sources and detectors of VirtualLab. The setup and the simulation of optical systems are going to be practiced on various laser systems. The parametric optimization document will be explained and used for the optimization of a laser system. And furthermore, the modeling and analysis of ultra-short pulses will be demonstrated.

The upper left figure shows an optical system – setup and simulation are introduced in the course.
The upper right figure shows an interference pattern – how light is represented in VirtualLab is one of the first topics in the course. The lower figure depicts a pulse in focal plane in an x-t-shape diagram.

Software Course Topics, 1st
• Introduction to the concepts of field tracing and unified optical modeling for the simulation of light in optical systems: electromagnetic light model and numerical data storage in VirtualLab, visualization of light distribution, field tracing concept of modeling of light propagation through free spaces and components using different physical models, evaluation of light distributions using detectors, physical and numerical modeling errors.
• Introduction to VirtualLab documents: Light Path Diagram, Parameter Run Document, Optimization Documents, Session Editors, VirtualLab Explorer and Property Browser.
Software Course Topics, 2nd Day:
• Simulation of paraxial and non-paraxial lens systems: aberration analysis, import of lens data from Zemax, modeling of vector propagation effects in lens systems, investigation of focal regions, simulation of PSF and MTF, modeling of imaging systems and space frequency filters, propagation of laser beams through optical systems, analysis of laser beam parameters, analysis of diffraction effects at apertures.
• Polarization of light: definition of coherent laser beams having arbitrary uniform polarization, generation of laser beams having varying polarization over the beam diameter, visualization of polarization state over beam diameter, simulation of polarizers and phase retardation plates.
• Calculation of interferograms and simulation of interferometers: calculation of interference patterns of two or more light distributions, modeling of interferometers with a coherent light source.
Software Course Topics, 3rd Day:
• Simulation of laser systems containing mirrors: Setup of laser systems with mirrors, analysis of telescopes including Schmidt telescope sample, definition of position and orientation of mirrors, comparing different positioning concepts of Zemax and VirtualLab.
• Tolerance Simulation of laser system: Modeling of alignment and tilt tolerances of optical components, automated variation of parameters, Monte-Carlo simulation.
• Programmable transmission function: Definition of customized transmission functions by code snippets, double slit example.
• Parametric optimization of laser systems: introduction to parametric optimization, definition of merit function for optimization, optimization of laser systems including diffraction, interference, polarization and aberrations, optimization of focusing laser systems.
• Pulse simulations: ultra-short pulse modeling including angular and material dispersion effects, spatiotemporal evolution of pulses, focusing of pulses by a lens system, stretching and compression of pulses.