Simulation of Optical Systems


This lecture gives an introduction into optical system’s design. The focus is on the system concept: design for manufacture, reliability in operation, as well as interactions between optical and non-optical system components are considered. Practical aspects of optical systems design like e.g. the consideration of design rules to ensure
manufacturability, tolerancing of the optical system to ensure a reliable operation, and the coupling of optical and mechanical simulation tools will also be presented. Application of the acquired techniques will be deepened with the help of three case studies.


  • Introduction
  • Modeling, simulation, and systems design
  • Basics of optics
  • Properties of optical materials
  • Optical imaging
  • Ray tracing
  • The optical design process
  • Basics of the Finite-Element Method (FEM)
  • The FEM design process
  • Coupling of simulation tools
  • Microoptical sub-systems

Learning objectives:

The students…

  • know the basics of optical modeling and simulation.
  • know the basics of modeling and simulation by means of the Finite-Element Method.
  • know the basics of the optical and mechanical design process.
  • are able to understand the specifications of optical systems and can use them in optical modeling.
  • are able to use design rules.
  • are able to conduct basic tolerance analysis.
  • are able to assess the need of an inter-domain simulation.
Language of instructionGerman
  • Averill M. Law, W. David Kelton, „Simulation, Modeling & Analysis“, McGraw-Hill, New York (1991)
  • R.E. Fischer, „Optical System Design“, SPIE Press, New York (2008)
  • G. Pahl, W. Beitz, „Engineering Design“, Springer, Heidelberg (1995Optik, E. Hecht (Oldenbourg, 2005)
  • Optical System Design, R. E. Fischer, B. Tadic-Galeb, P. R. Yoder (Mc Graw Hill, 2008)
  • Practical Computer-Aided Lens Design, G. H. Smith (Willman-Bell, 1998)
  • M. Mayr, U. Thalhofer, „Numerische Lösungsverfahren in der Praxis“, Hanser Verlag München (1993)
  • M. Weck, C. Brecher, „Werkzeugmaschinen – Konstruktion und Berechnung“, Springer Heidelberg (2006)