OptisWorks used by Chinese space programme

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Optis, a developer of software for scientific light simulation, has announced that the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) in Beijing has used its OptisWorks product for stray light analysis to optimise the optical performance of satellites and imaging equipment used in space. The academy participated in the development of the Stray Light Analysis feature of OptisWorks, is the leading space agency in China, responsible for the coordination of the national Chinese Space Programme.

As optical systems become more and more complicated the phenomenon known as 'stray light' poses increasingly complex problems for system designers. Stray light within any imaging system, such as a camera, telescope or night vision equipment, significantly affects the optical performance, reducing the accuracy, fidelity and eventually jeopardising the reliability of the image. These inefficiencies have serious implications for defence and safety applications; an observer’s view through an optical system affected by stray light could be of such bad quality that objects supposedly in the scene may not be recognised and, conversely, those objects outside of the scene may appear as ghost images. The ability to distinguish and correct the true signal compared to the internal 'noise' generated provides the only solution to a 100 per cent reliable system, says Optis. The company's R&D team backed by Optis' local team in Shanghai, worked closely with the engineers at China Academy of Space Technology to optimise the detection of these internal discrepancies.

China Academy of Space Technology selected the OptisWorks solution because of its integration into the SolidWorks CAD package, allowing designers to interact with their model fully and visualise the influence of each component on the stray light. CAD integration also enabled them to optimise optical and mechanical aspects concurrently in order to and try out multiple iterations to find the right design solution. 'The Optis stray light analysis tool enables our engineers to design more reliable and accurate space imaging equipment. Thanks to Optis they have minimised noise from reflections and optimised the signal at the viewpoint,' said Dr Wen Ping Lei of CAST.