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Matlab – Zemax Toolkit

Matlab-Zemax toolkit: software enabling rapid transfer of optical modeling data into the Matlab environment for custom performance analyses, integrated modeling, wavefront sensing and control operations, and systems modeling.


Matlab – Zemax Toolkit Goals

The Matlab-Zemax toolkit is a set of matlab scripts and functions which enable rapid transfer of optical system and performance data into the matlab environment from Zemax optical software. Typical applications are extracting prescription data into Matlab to confirm consistency of various delivered models, perturbing the models and performing various analyses such as ray tracing or generation of point spread functions in support of integrated modeling activities (i.e. thermal and structural stablility predictions), and enabling a matlab driven optical model for integrated system-level modelling of wavefront sensing and control.

The purpose is to support modeling and analysis of perturbed and/or active optical systems in Zemax, from a Matlab based environment.

These goals are listed below.

Functional Goals

  1. The Matlab - Zemax toolkit consists of multiple matlab "m" files, which either command or querie information from Zemax using the Microsoft DDE (dynamic data exchange) link of the Windows operating system.
  2. The toolkit establishes the link, and allows the user to operate Zemax from matlab either by real-time command line entry, or through scripted macros. Additionally, DDE allows the user to go back and forth from Matlab to Zemax since both are running on the desktop.
  3. Similar toolkits have been established by the principle author for Code V and OSLO optical design software.

Evolvability Goals

This toolkit has similar function names as the Matlab-CodeV and Matlab-OSLO toolkits, written for other optical design software packages. The long term intention is to make lens file conversion from Zemax to CodeV and/or OSLO a part of the toolkit.

Usability Goals

I hope the user finds the features simple and intuitive. While the Matlab-Zemax Toolkit is not as complete as the similar Matlab-CodeV and Matlab-OSLO toolkits, the similarity between all three makes a simple and common user interface and intuitive function naming from Matlab to optical models in each of three software environments.


Software Packages

This software is released under the terms and conditions of the NASA Open Source Agreement (NOSA) Version 1.1 or later.
Matlab – Zemax Toolkit NOSA

Matlab – Zemax Toolkit Software Package    



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  • Page Last Updated: February 27, 2015
  • Page Editor: Adil Anis
  • NASA Official: Enidia Santiago-Arce