Dual field of view optics with non-mechanical switching

  • US Patent No. 9201220
  • Issued: December 01, 2015
  • Status: Active

An all-refractive optical system that images a scene at two different fields of view or FOVs, with switching between FOVs enabled by switchable lens elements is disclosed. The two fields of view vary in focal length by a factor of three. The wide FOV images broad-band Short Wave InfraRed SWIR radiation at an f/number of 1.7, while the narrow FOV images narrow-band illuminated SWIR at f/4.9. A voltage change across the switchable lens elements generates an optical power change between finite focus and infinite focus. Situated among static optical elements, the switching elements enable FOV changes with no mechanical movement. The given f/numbers at each FOV are a result of a fixed aperture in the system. The smaller throughput in the narrow FOV mode is augmented by narrow-band illumination of the scene to maintain equivalent sensor response between the two FOVs.

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