Information Technology & Software

OPTOOL software is a general-purpose optical systems analysis tool that was developed to offer a solution to problems associated with computational programs written for the James Webb Space Telescope optical system. It integrates existing routines into coherent processes, and provides a structure with reusable capabilities that allow additional processes to be quickly developed and integrated. It has an extensive graphical user interface, which makes the tool more intuitive and friendly.

OPTOOL is implemented using MATLAB with a Fourier optics-based approach for point spread function (PSF) calculations. It features parametric and Monte Carlo simulation capabilities, and uses a direct integration calculation to permit high spatial sampling of the PSF. Exit pupil optical path difference (OPD) maps can be generated using combinations of Zernike polynomials or shaped power spectral densities. The graphical user interface allows rapid creation of arbitrary pupil geometries, and entry of all other modeling parameters to support basic imaging and radiometric analyses.

OPTOOL provides the capability to generate wavefront-error (WFE) maps for arbitrary grid sizes. These maps are 2D arrays containing digital sampled versions of functions ranging from Zernike polynomials to combination of sinusoidal wave functions in 2D, to functions generated from a spatial frequency power spectral distribution (PSD). It also can generate optical transfer functions (OTFs), which are incorporated into the PSF calculation.

The user can specify radiometrics for the target and sky background, and key performance parameters for the instrument’s focal plane array (FPA). This radiometric and detector model setup is fairly extensive, and includes parameters such as zodiacal background, thermal emission noise, read noise, and dark current. The setup also includes target spectral energy distribution as a function of wavelength for polychromatic sources, detector pixel size, and the FPA’s charge diffusion modulation transfer function (MTF).

This work was done by Kong Q. Ha of KDA Engineering; Michael W. Fitzmaurice of Swales Aerospace; and Gary E. Moiser, Joseph M. Howard, and Chi M. Le of Goddard Space Flight Center. For more information, download the Technical Support Package (free white paper) at under the Software category. GSC-15720-1

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