Date of Award

Summer 1992

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Matthys, Donald

Second Advisor

Kuick, Lee

Third Advisor

Gilbert, Joun


The Panoramic Annular Lens (PAL), because of its unique geometry, has not been analyzed previously in terms of its aberrations and its limiting resolution. Standard raytracing techniques cannot be used with the PAL because the front surface mirror blocks paraxial rays, which are necessary to quantify the aberrations in terms of the Siedel Coefficients. Consequently, other methods for both quantitatively and qualitatively determining the extent of the aberrations have been developed. The aberrations presented here include spherical aberration, distortion, and image plane curvature. Because the results obtained are somewhat qUalitative, extensive comparison with the procedures used to find the aberrations and results of these procedures for a normal thin lens are made to facilitate understanding of the extent of the aberrations. The modulation transfer function (MTF) has been widely used in modern optical design as a measure of overall image quality. Therefore, the MTF has been calculated from spot diagrams for both the radial lines and the concentric rings in the annular image created by the PAL. The limiting resolution of the PAL can then be found if the limiting MTF of the detector in use (a photographic plate, a CCD camera, etc.) is known.