fo+ Freefrom Optics Plus

fo-plus_signetProspectively, freeform optics will be key components of optical systems due to their inherent advantages. The design, fabrication and integration of these components represent a scientific and technological challenge, as proven conventional methods often reach their limits.
The development of new processing techniques in the description of the elements, their preparation and adjustment is currently the subject of research. Such methods
have not found input in education and training yet.

The project "Freeform Optics Plus (fo+) - From components to next generation systems" supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in its program "Innovative regionale Wachstumskerne", targets the development, establishment and marketing of a freeform optics technology platform. Therewith, the Alliance fo+ seeks for a product and technology leadership in various markets by producing refractive and reflective freeform optical systems such as lenses and telescopes applications.

Freeform-specific design aspects are:

Generalized aberration theory for symmetry-free optical systems:
1. Aberration distribution functions
2. Performance evaluation of systems

Design methods for freeform systems:
1. Efficient optimization
2. Optical design rules for freeform systems
3. Surface contributions for structural analysis
4. Tolerancing

In the joint project 1 "Investigation of ultra-precise freeform systems" eight companies and two research institutes plan jointly the development of new design and manufacturing methods, the technological improvement of new materials, the development of machining, coating and patterning techniques as well as their use for component development up to the integration in complete systems. However, the ambitious goals can only be achieved through interdisciplinary collaboration between physicists and engineers. No research institute or company solely is able to open up this potential fully. But this is only possible in the context of collaborative research, including essential knowledge carriers. The participating research institutions contribute with their latest theoretical and technological know-how.

The project 2 "Education" wants to provide of basic and advanced training modules about the developed fo + technologies, to transfer knowledge towards educational institutions, user companies and technology clients.