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OOFELIE::Multiphysics link to Zemax's OpticStudio

Integrated Workflow for Mechanical Thermal Optical (STOP) Analysis.

The OOFELIE::Multiphysics Solver is tightly combined with ZEMAX | OpticStudio through automated in-memory data exchange to help engineer accurately predict the behavior of optomechanical systems and MOEMS.
OOFELIE::Multiphysics link to Zemax's OpticStudio

For a growing number of high precision applications having to perform in demanding conditions, the need for high dimensional stability, increased accuracy and predictable performances raises the standards for the design of optical devices.

OOFELIE::Multiphysics Solver performs an in-memory coupled analysis of Opto-thermo-electro-mechanic interactions linked to ZEMAX | OpticStudio, including novel optics steering mechanisms such as those based on piezoelectrics and thermo mechanics.

The automated data and geometry exchange between the 2 tools will guarantee you a more reliable and time-saving opto-thermo-mechanical design flow.

To interact with the optical design software ZEMAX | OpticStudio, OOFELIE::Multiphysics was provided with the following capabilities:

  • Automated in-memory data exchanges with ZEMAX | OpticStudio
  • Easy Optical CAD export from ZEMAX | OpticStudio to OOFELIE::UI for further modeling
  • Irradiance exchange to calculate power dissipation in the components
  • Expression of structural deformations exchanged with ZEMAX | OpticStudio in term of :
    • A linear combination of Zernike polynomials
    • As grid of points
  • Separation of the rigid body component
  • Automated modification of the optical problem
  • Automated retrieval of optical performance indicators

Key Features

Design - Abilities

Optical and multiphysics co-simulation analysis in:

  • Statics
  • Harmonic
  • Transient

CSL - Centre Spatial de Liege (usage of OOFELIE p44) : Bienal Report 2010 - 2011

Photonik No. 3-2013 Article: Berücksichtigung nichtlinearer Wärmeausdehnung im Design passiv athermalisierter Infrarot-Optiken


Integrated design flow

OOFELIE exchanges automatically information with ZEMAX® which reduces human interventions during data transfer between the two applications, thereby gaining productivity and reducing risk of loss of data integrity.

Starting from the description of the optical system problem in ZEMAX®, the geometry of optical components is exported to OOFELIE::Multiphysics using standard CAD exchange formats. In the UI, the surrounding support is built around these optical components and thermo-mechanical loads are applied to the system.

1. Before thermo-mechanical analysis, OOFELIE performs a verification process of the sag of each node of the Finite Element mesh belonging to each optical surface.

  • If the sag is not represented with a sufficient precision, OOFELIE recomputes its value using the analytical equation of the surface provided by ZEMAX®. OOFELIE provides then the sag precision required by optical model tolerance.
  • The parameters of the analytical equation are retrieved by an automated process based on OOFELIE’s in-memory dialogue capabilities.

2 . After the thermo-mechanical analysis, the updating process of an existing optical problem takes place: the initial definition of a given optical surface is modified with the definition of grid sag values or coefficients from decomposition in Zernike polynomials.

  • These values are computed from the knowledge of the structural deformation induced on the optical surface by the thermo-mechanical loads. If the deformed configuration contains rigid body components (translation and/or rotation), those parameters are identified too and are also introduced in the updated optical design.
  • Through in-memory dialogue capabilities, OOFELIE exchanges automatically information with ZEMAX® which reduces human interventions during data transferbetween the two applications, thereby gaining productivity and reducing risk of loss of data integrity.

Industry Standard Designflow

OOFELIE::Multiphysics is provided with an industrial CAD/CAE user interface (UI) used extensively in the Aeronautics and Automotive industry. While featuring all elements for a professional CAE design, it takes an intuitive 5 step approach, presenting only the functionality you need at every step.


Intuitive Left-to-Right Design Flow

Use the full CAD interface for parameterized multiphysics modeling of your design. Link into the design flow by importing and manipulating files from various vendors (CATIA®, Solidworks®, STEP, IGES...).
Use the hierarchical UI to assign the different multi physical(multi-dependant, equation based) material properties to each component. Make use of a pre-defined material data base to increase your efficiency. Set loads and constraints.
Define the mesh of your geometry. Take the most accurate and efficient approach by using the full spectrum of mesh shapes (tetrahedron, pentahedron,hexahedron...), mesh orders (linear, quadratic) and mesh generation (Delaunay-Voronoi, Frontal...) methods. Use gluing and mesh contact algorithms to efficiently join separate meshed parts.
In the electro-thermal domain (example), you solve for the transient or static response of your parameterized system. OOFELIE will strongly couple thermal and electrical effects to better model Joule heating. Move from verification to design by linking to optimization scripts for parametric analyses, design of experiments, multidisciplinary optimization,sensitivity & statistic analysis.
After simulation, examine your results in the solution tree of the hierarchical UI. The results can be 3D plots as well as animations and sound files of the multiple physical fields that are calculated! Finally results are easily exported to other tools for further post-processing.

ZEMAX® irradiance map used for automatic surface heat flux calculation

The irradiance maps from ZEMAX® are used to calculate the surface heat flux on a component. The resulting temperature rise of the component generates an optical deformation that is automatically exported back to ZEMAX®.

Deformation export at surface level

Structural deformations computed at the level of optical surfaces are automatically converted into information for ZEMAX®. According to the working mode of ZEMAX® and the type of surface selected, deformations can be converted into

  • In the sequential mode of ZEMAX®:
    • Zenike Fringe Sag
    • Zernike Standard Sag (up to 231 polynomials)
    • Grid Sag
  • In the non-sequential mode of ZEMAX®
    • Zernike Standard Sag

GRIN: Refractive index gradient as a function of temperature

Heat dissipation inside the volume of optical components will cause both deformation and a change (gradient) of the refractive index.

OOFELIE exports both effects simultaneously to ZEMAX® using a customized surface type.

Active optics

Piezoactuation of a deformable mirror

Electrostatically actuated micro-lens for biomedical application (With courtesy of University of British of Columbia and British Columbia Cancer Research Centre, CANADA)

To control the shape of deformable mirrors with piezoelectric actuators or electrostatic effects, OOFELIE for Advanced Optics is compatible with the piezoelectric and electrostatic capabilities of OOFELIE::Mutliphysics.


Bi-layer micro mirror (MOEMS)

This example illustrates a simulation of the opto-electro-thermo-mechanical actuation of a bi-layer micro-mirror. This mirror is composed of two layers made of materials with different thermal expansion coefficients. The extremity of an “arm” of the system is submitted to a given electric potential while the others have a null potential. Due to this difference of potential between the different extremities, a current appears through the system and causes heating by joule effect. Because the thermo-mechanical behavior of the two layers is different, a bending effect appears and it is possible to control the elevation of the device by modifying the applied voltage. The optical impact of mirror displacement is then obtained.

Unobscured Gregorian telescope

A support was generated around two mirrors that are defined in a ZEMAX® provided design. The complete structure is cooled. The impact of the material used for the support of the two first mirrors (off-axis design) was analysed. In this particular case, a change from aluminium to titanium for the support reduces by a factor 4 the perturbation of the merit function value.

Parabolic reflector

The impact of the direction of a pressure load applied on the support of a parabolic reflector can be evaluated. The applied force at the support induces a tilt motion of the mirror. The identification of the rigid body motion parameters enables highlighting pure elastic deformations hidden by the magnitude of the rigid body motion.

Industrial multiphysics design for optical devices


A growing number of high precision optical systems has to perform in harsh conditions. For example, the space and medical industries raise the standards for the design of optical devices that need high dimensional stability, increased accuracy and predictable performances.

That is why in these markets it is often necessary to combine real-life tests with Multiphysics CAE. But a preliminary experimental validation of the numerical solution is mandatory to ensure the very high precision level required for optical applications.

This integrated opto-thermo-mechanic design flow will enable you to speed up the development process and increase the reliability of your devices at a reduced cost.

This seminar was given by Open Engineering , AMOS and CSL on April 26th 2012