How to create an array of sources

OpticStudio allows all sources to be replicated as arrays. Arrays of sources are more efficient than multiple instances of the same source, especially when the source is defined using a data file. The array types include rectangular grid, hexapolar array and more. This article gives examples of the use of this capability.

Authored By Tawnya Martin


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OpticStudio provides users with the ability to make a source object into an array in Non-Sequential mode. This allows users to model a large amount of sources without needing to individually define each one. This saves time for the user and is more efficient in terms of memory usage - allowing ray traces and analyses to run much smoother. An array of sources is also much more efficient than multiple instances of the same source when the sources are defined by data files.

In this article, we demonstrate how to make a source into an array of multiple sources, and will provide an example of each array type. 

How to define an array of sources

The parameters used to define an array of source objects are located under Object Properties...Sources when a source is selected.



There are several array types to choose from including the Rectangular, Circular, Hexapolar, and Hexagonal.  The Array Type Parameter allows you to define the combined shape of the Sources.

Note that all properties of the source, such as power, layout rays and analysis rays, are replicated at each array point. Therefore, a 10x10 array of 1 W sources will have a total power of 100W; a setting of 20 layout rays will cause 2000 layout rays to be drawn, etc.


The Rectangular array

The Rectangular Array allows you to define 1D or a 2D array with a defined number of sources in the X and Y axis. The options available include the number of sources in X and Y, and the Source-to-Source spacing in lens units along each direction. The minimum number of sources in either direction is 1 and the maximum is 2000. The sources are numbered starting from 1 in the first (x) column and first (y) row at the location of the parent object. Each subsequent source is numbered across the columns along the first row, until the number of x-direction sources is reached. The next source will be placed at the next row in the first column, and then numbering continues across the columns again, until all sources are placed. 

The settings and resulting model are shown below. 



The Circular array

The Circular Array consists of a single circular ring centered on the parent source location. The user defined parameters include the number of sources and the radius. The array radius is the distance from the parent source coordinates to the center of the surrounding sources defining the array. The individual sources are equally spaced in angle. The first source is at 0 degrees on the XY plane, and the sources continue counter-clockwise (looking down the -Z axis) around the circle until all sources are placed.

The settings and results of a Circular Array setup are shown below.



The Hexapolar array

A Hexapolar Array consists of equally spaced rings of sources; it allows up to 20 rings of increasing order of 6 equally spaced sources. For example, Ring 1 contains the original source, Ring two has six sources, Ring 3 has twelve, and so on. Each new ring starts with its first source at +90 degrees on the XY plane, and the sources continue counter-clockwise (looking down the -Z axis) until all 6 sources are places. The available parameters include number of rings and radial spacing between rings.

The settings and resulting Hexapolar Array are shown below.


The Hexagonal array

A hexagon is a polygon with 6 edges and 6 sides. When a Hexagonal Array is utilized, the initial or first ring is a single source: the original source located at its given coordinates. The second ring contains 6 sources placed at the appropriate vertices of the hexagon shape. The spacing parameter defines the vertical distance in lens units between sources in the same column. The numbering convention for this array starts at 1 at the bottom (-y coordinate) of the leftmost (-x coordinate) column, and then goes up the leftmost column, then starts at the bottom of the next column to the right, and proceeds up that column. The pattern repeats until the top source in the rightmost column is reached.

A Hexagonal Array and its settings are shown below. 




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