OpticStudio STAR Module - Data import and analysis tutorial

The STAR Module enables thermal and structural deformation data from FEA packages to be imported directly into OpticStudio where the impact on the performance of your optical system can be analysed. This enables a deep understanding of the behaviour of your system, providing insights to drive informed design decisions. This tutorial guides you through the data import process.

Authored By Esteban Carbajal


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The following example will guide you through loading thermal and structural deformation data into OpticStudio. After loading the FEA data, you will be able to see the change in the optical performance using the already existing analyses.

Load FEA data

An example optical design are available in the downloads section of this article.

  • Open the file 'SteeringPrismSystem_SEQ_v04.zar' in OpticStudio.


  • Open Analyze...Wavefront...Wavefront Map with the following settings:
    • Show As: False Color
    • Sampling: 128 x 128


  • Open Analyze...Surface...Sag with the following settings:
    • Show As: False Color
    • Sampling: 129 x 129
    • Surface: 5 - mirror


  • Tile all windows for a better view. Click Setup...Window Options...Tile All Windows.
  • Click STAR...Load FEA data
  • In the Load FEA Data window, click Load FEA and a file explorer window will appear.
  • Navigate to the location of the FEA data, select all files desired and click Open.
    • The STAR Module will automatically categorize the temperature profile and surface deformation files based on the file structure.
  • Using the dropdown menus, select an Assigned Surface for each FEA Dataset. In this example the correct surface number has been included in the FEA Dataset filename for reference.
    • There are warning indicators should the same optical surface be assigned more than one FEA dataset.
    • The graphics area will automatically show the assigned FEA datasets and their location in space relative to the optical system.

Aligning the FEA data

By default, the STAR module uses a global coordinate system to match the global coordinate reference surface. In this case the FEA data was saved in a global coordinate system that matched the global coordinate reference surface in OpticStudio (surface 2).

  • In the Transformation section, use the FEA Coordinate System control to confirm the coordinate system paradigm is set to Global. The position of the FEA data points will be displayed and should appear aligned to the optical surfaces.
  • Click Thermal and repeat the process for the Thermal FEA datasets.
  • In the Transformation section, use the FEA Coordinate System control to confirm the coordinate system paradigm is set to Global.
  • Once you have verified that the FEA datasets are all aligned, click OK (Fit FEA Data).
    • The FEA datasets will be loaded, the Rigid Body Motions (RBMs) will be calculated and removed, and the numeric fit will be performed. You can find more information on this process in the Help Files section 'The STAR Tab>FEA Fitting Process and RBMs'.
    • When the process is complete, the Load FEA Data window will be closed.
  • Click Update All (CTRL + SHIFT + U) to update all windows and see the effects of the FEA datasets on the different analyses (Example results below).
    • The Wavefront Map of the system will change
    • The Surface Sag of the originally flat mirror will now show sag



Congratulations! You have just added FEA datasets to your optical design and can now utilize all sequential tools offered in OpticStudio with these effects applied.

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