Recognized as the expert in the development and application of optical engineering software for solving complex, “real world” optical problems, Photon Engineering has developed the FRED Optical Engineering Software to be the essential tool you need to take your project from a creative concept to a working prototype rapidly and confidently.

Terrestrial Planet FinderMicro-Objective Lens

What is FRED?

The FRED Optical Engineering Software is capable of simulating the propagation of light through any optomechanical system by raytracing.  Whether the design is imported from CAD, a lens design program, or constructed from within the software itself, FRED provides engineers with the essential tool for virtual prototyping optical systems.  The generality to which optical properties can be assigned to objects in the system model means that FRED is not restricted to any one class of problems.  Its capability to propagate both incoherent and coherent light means that FRED can be used for a diverse range of applications that include stray light, laser applications, illumination and non-imaging optics, imaging systems, multi-wavelength systems, and thermal imaging ( Read more about FRED’s features and applications ).

Lawn Lamp Design Micro Objective Design


What versions of FRED are available?

There are two versions of FRED currently available, FRED Regular and FRED Optimum (Read about the differences here).

FRED Regular includes the following features:

  • 3D graphical interface for model rendering, construction and verification
  • 25 surface types, 9 curve types and lens, mirror, prism elements
  • 15 primitive solids with boolean operation capability
  • Vendor catalogs for import of lenses, mirrors and prisms
  • IGES/STEP import and export
  • Lens import from ZEMAX®, CODE V® and OSLO®
  • Ability to array geometry in a rectilinear coordinate system
  • 7 coating types, including polarization and thickness variations
  • 12 surface scatter models and 2 volume scatter models
  • 6 importance sampling specifications for efficient scatter calculation
  • Catalog, GRIN, birefringent, formula and sampled materials definitions
  • Diffraction gratings with unlimited orders and efficiencies
  • Detailed source construction by control of ray position/direction, wavelength, coherence, polarization, and power
  • Spectra definition for sources and detector response functions as Gaussian, Blackbody or Sampled
  • Non-sequential AND sequential raytracing capability
  • Coherent beam propagation
  • Raytrace controls for specification of power, splitting and intersection
  • Ray manipulation utilities for export, import and filtering operations
  • 35+ default ray analysis utilities
  • Ability to perform analyses on planar surfaces and 3 types of non-planar surfaces
  • Volume Fluence Analysis
  • Photometric and radiometric units
  • Digitization tool for data extraction
  • BASIC scripting language
  • COM capability for server/client communication
  • Multi-threading on up to 4 CPU threads

FRED Optimum includes all of the above features AND:

  • 64-bit architecture for expanded memory access capability
  • Multi-variable optimization capability with multiple local and pseudo-global algorithms
  • Parameter Sensitivity Analysis
  • System Configurations Manager
  • Parameter Pickups
  • Distributed Computing
  • Multi-threading on up to 32 CPU threads


FRED Demo Version Request