Mastering Stray Light Analysis Short Course

Photon Engineering’s Mastering Stray Light Analysis Short Course is an intensive 3-day instruction on the language, science, theory, techniques, and calculations involved in all aspects of stray light. As a practical course on the theory and calculations involved in stray light analysis, no software programs are used during the class. The topics covered include the radiometry of the BSDF, scatter model definitions, applying and interpreting BSDF functions, scatter model approximations, stray light calculations of PST, contrast/veiling glare, ghost imaging, thermal self emission, and diffraction, effective baffling and beam dumping, and more.


Download the registration form  (Tucson)


Topics Covered in the 3-Day Course

  • What is stray light, really?
  • Optical design vs. optical reality
  • Definition of scatter
  • Basic radiometry – Radiance and BSDF
  • Modeling scatter in software
  • Methods of displaying and interpreting BSDF data
  • Types of BSDF functions
    • Lambertian
    • Harvey and ABg
    • K-correlation
    • PSD
    • Paints
    • Particulates
    • Composites
    • Very rough surfaces
  • Scatter importance sampling
  • Ray ancestry levels
  • Ghost image analysis
  • Critical and illuminated objects
  • Raytrace paths
  • Point Source Transmittance (PST)
  • Stray light report
  • PST as a transfer function
  • Percent stray light
  • Veiling glare and contrast
  • Thermal self emission calculations
  • Narcissus
  • Diffracted stray light
  • Stray light from extended sources
  • Stops, apertures, baffles and vanes
  • Reducing projected solid angle
  • Modifying surface attributes
  • Scatter from coatings
  • Beam dumps
  • Reflective baffles
  • Analysis of well baffled systems


  • Attendance at the short course is limited to 11 attendees
  • A basic knowledge of optics and radiometry is recommended



With over 30 years of experience in the areas of stray light analysis, algorithm and software development, optical design and contamination control, instructor Rich Pfisterer is an industry expert. He has direct experience working with virtually all commercial (and several proprietary) stray light software packages. The material presented during the course reflects his very broad knowledge of the field.