200,000 micro lenses to dynamically configure headlights: Page 2 of 2

June 07, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
200,000 micro lenses to dynamically configure headlights
The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF (Jena, Germany) has developed the prototype of a new generation of vehicle light that not only exceeds the light output and functionality requirements defined by lawmakers and the automotive industry - it is also more efficient, more compact and significantly more flexible in its positioning in the vehicle than current systems.

The headlamp consists of two modules, each with seven individually controllable LED clusters. Their light is directed by a total of four collimating lenses onto two tandem lens arrays. These micro-optical elements distribute the light from the individual light-emitting diodes. Thousands of microlenses guide the light precisely into each lighting segment. This can be switched on or off in a fraction of a second by individually controlling a total of 24 LEDs.

Square polymer lenses in various dimensions were used for more precise light modeling. The smallest variant has a side length of 0.045 mm x 0.180 mm. Fraunhofer IOF has developed its own new production process for rectangular lenses for this purpose. On the one hand it allows the production of the finest microstructures, on the other hand it also allows the production of comparatively large profile depths up to 100μm. These are necessary in order to make optimum use of the existing luminance of the LEDs. Now the Fraunhofer IOF has been able to realize the first prototype of a dipped beam. Once all the components have been developed, 8,000 microlenses will ensure optimum visibility at night and in poor weather.

The prototype will be presented at the Laser World of Photonics trade fair in Munich (June 24-27), where researchers will present their results.

More information: https://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2019/june/new-light-source-brings-freedom-of-design-and-added-safety.html

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