Eikonal+ training and simulation platform: enabling a new generation of optical systems
The year of 2016 was proclaimed by many to be the year of virtual/augmented reality [Forbes]. The public attention was captured by the idea of wearable and immersive devices that can be used for communication, training, simulation and much more. However, the realization of such AR/VR displays has been staggered due to limitation of the optical/light engine of those devices. Furthermore, head-worn displays are only one example of a new generation of optical systems that require non-traditional technologies to achieve high optical performance, in a compact and light form factor. The development of these technologies requires a new set of optical training and simulation tools that can bridge the gap between computational optics and advanced optical manufacturing and design. In my work, I have focused on freeform optics and related technologies. Freeform optics can provide broadband, folded, all reflective designs [Bauer14]. Combining technologies can allow for optical systems with unprecedented form factor and performance. In the current work, we have demonstrated the realization of emerging technology for use in freeform based reflective head-worn display designs. The research requires a new set of computational and experimental tools for design and manufacturing. Specifically, in the current work we are focused on the development of Eikonal+ - an optical/mechanical design platform. Eikonal+ is based on the Eikonal source code that was donated in 2009 to Prof. Rolland by the family of the late Juan Rayces, with whom she worked in 1986 [Rayces87]. We have developed tools that enable the Eikonal+ ray tracing code to interact with external software. Moreover, we have created a new user interface built from the ground up for 3D visualization of complex, folded optical systems.