Design of compact optical systems using multichannel configurations
Compacting devices is an increasingly demanding requirement for many applications in both nonimaging and imaging optics. “Compacting” means here decreasing the volume of the space between the entry and the exit aperture without decreasing the optical performance. After reviewing the different techniques to design compact systems, we analyze here the multichannel strategies. These type of designs split the incoming bundle of rays in different sub-bundles that are optically processed (independently) and then recombined in a single outgoing bundle. The optics volume decreases rapidly with the number of sub-bundles. These designs usually need to be combined with freeform optics in order to get optimum performance.