Using software interoperability to achieve a virtual design environment

G. Groot Gregory, R. John Koshel

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


A variety of simulation tools, including optical design and analysis, have benefited by many years of evolution in software functionality and computing power, thus making the notion of virtual design environments a reality. To simulate the optical characteristics of a system, one needs to include optical performance, mechanical design and manufacturing aspects simultaneously. To date, no single software program offers a universal solution. One approach to achieve an integrated environment is to select tools that offer a high degree of interoperability. This allows the selection of the best tools for each aspect of the design working in concert to solve the problem. This paper discusses the issues of how to assemble a design environment and provides an example of a combination of tools for illumination design. We begin by offering a broad definition of interoperability from an optical analysis perspective. This definition includes aspects of file interchange formats, software communications protocols and customized applications. One example solution is proposed by combining SolidWorks 1 for computer-aided design (CAD), TracePro 2 for optical analysis and MATLAB 3 as the mathematical engine for tolerance analysis. The resulting virtual tool will be applied to a lightpipe design task to illustrate how such a system can be used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number59620A
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventOptical Design and Engineering II - Gena, Germany
Duration: Sep 13 2005Sep 16 2005


  • Illumination
  • Simulation
  • Software

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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