Physical Optics Modeling With FRED

Physical optics modeling requires propagating optical wave fields from a specific radiometric source through complex systems of apertures and reflective or refractive optical components, or even complete instruments or devices, usually to a focal plane or sensor. The model must accurately include the interference and diffraction effects allowed by the polarization and coherence characteristics of both the initial optical wave field and the components and media through which it passes.


Photon Engineering’s advanced tutorial on Physical Optics Modeling is an intensive 3-day instruction covering the fundamentals of FRED’s physical optics propagator, modeling diffraction phenomena, modeling interference phenomena, application of coherent sources, and configuring models for polarization applications.



The physical optics modeling class has two prerequisites: (1) The attendees have to be reasonably proficient FRED users because it is a “hand’s on” class.  The attendees will be expected to setup FRED models, trace rays, set analysis surfaces, etc.  (2) The attendees need to have a decent background in physical optics. They should have a rudimentary (at least) understanding of coherence/incoherence, interferometry, polarization, Zernike decompositions, Fresnel and Fraunhofer diffraction, etc.  (the course is taught as a “physical optics class that happens to use FRED”, as opposed to a “FRED class on physical optics”; consequently the course is heavy in physics).


Dates and Locations

Download the registration form  (Tucson)


Topics Covered in this Tutorial

  • Introduction
    • A brief overview of propagation algorithms in raytracing applications
    • Introduction to Gaussian Beam Decomposition
    • Review of Gaussian beam properties
    • The details of complex raytracing
  • Diffraction Modeling
    • Fraunhoffer diffraction effects
    • Fresnel diffraction effects
    • Transverse and longitudinal field calculations
    • Wavefront analysis
    • Near-field diffraction effects
  • Interference Modeling
    • Two beam interference
    • Configuring surface properties for interference effects
    • Multiple beam interference applications
    • Interference of polychromatic sources
  • Configuring Coherent Sources
    • How coherent sources are constructed
    • Verifying source configurations
    • Different ways of specifying Gaussian beams
    • Beam quality and M-squared sources
    • Customizing coherent source definitions
  • Beamlet errors, limitations and resampling
    • The rules of complex raytracing
    • Review of beamlet failure mechanisms
    • Advanced coherent source controls
    • Spatial field resampling
    • Directional field resampling
  • Polarization
    • Review of basic polarization definitions
    • Specifying starting source polarization
    • Tools for polarization analysis
    • Analyzing effects from coatings and materials
    • Polarization specification of diverging sources
    • Stokes analysis