Geometrical MTF computation method based on the irradiance model

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) is a measure of an optical system's ability to transfer contrast from the specimen to the image plane at a specific resolution. It can be computed either numerically by geometrical optics or measured experimentally by imaging a knife edge or a bar-target pattern of varying spatial frequency. Previously, MTF accuracy was generally affected by the size of the mesh on the image plane. This paper presents a new MTF computation method based on the irradiance model, without counting the number of rays hitting each grid. To verify the method, the MTF in the sagittal and meridional directions of an axis-symmetrical optical system is computed by both the ray-counting and the proposed methods. It is found that the grid size meshed on the image plane significantly affects the MTF of the ray-counting method, sometimes with significantly negative results. The proposed irradiance method is immune to issues of grid size. The CPU computation time for the two methods is approximately the same.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-249
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Physics B: Lasers and Optics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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