Optical Research Associates (ORA), the Californian-based optics company, has released LightTools 6.1, an illumination design and analysis software. The software includes advanced modelling and analysis features that facilitate the design of sophisticated luminaires, LEDs, and displays. For instance, the Ray Path feature allows identification of exactly what system elements are contributing to light loss, scatter, unintentional reflections, or ghost images. This is particularly useful in the design of stray-light sensitive systems, such as microlithography steppers or astronomical instruments.
LightTools also supports accurate modelling of scattering surfaces by allowing users to apply measured BSDF data (both isotropic and anisotropic) to a surface. Additionally, the software comes with a library of BSDF data of reflective materials most commonly used in luminaire construction, including those available from companies such as Alanod and Almeco. Support for gradient index (GRIN) lenses has also been added, including radial, axial, spherical, and user-defined gradients.
Accurate modelling of LEDs with LightTools has been further extended with new ways to specify the properties of phosphors. In particular, the mean free path (the average distance that a ray will travel in a material before striking a phosphor particle) can now be described as a constant, as a wavelength-dependent quantity, or by using Mie scattering theory.
LightTools' ease of use has been enhanced with expanded foreign language support. Specifically, menus and dialogue boxes are now available in French, German, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, and Korean, in addition to Japanese, which has long been included in the software.