Measuring the MTF of an imaging system at its operational working distance is useful for understanding the system’s use case performance. However, it is often not practical to test imaging systems at long distances (several meters to infinity), particularly in a production environment. Intermediate optics (relay lenses) can be used to simulate longer test distances. The Imatest Collimator Fixture is a machine developed for testing imaging systems at specified simulated distances up to infinity through the use of a relay lens and a test chart. The relay lens’s optical properties dictate the required distance between the optic and the test chart, or Collimator Working Distance (WDC), to project the correct simulated distance (SD). This paper provides a method for validating the accuracy of simulated test distances. Successful validation is achieved when the distances at which peak MTF occurs in the real world match the simulated distances at which peak MTF occurs on the collimator fixture, or if both distances are within the depth of field (DoF) of the imaging system in use.
Authors: Alex Schwartz, Mechanical Engineer; Sarthak Tandon, Mechanical Engineer; and Jackson Knappen, Imaging Science Engineer