SX10: wide scan angles with prisms

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HexastormHexastorm 08/13/2019 at 20:360 Comments

I have found a commercial prism scanner in the field; the Trimble SX10 scanning total station.

For more details see this  article on the big eye. They translate light by refracting it through two orthogonal prisms and then collimate it with a lens. The trick here is that they use it to scan over a wide angle, instead of  short angle. They have a sort of reverted setup.

You can see they start from a point and then form a collimated, aka parallel, bundle.
It turns out that this design was used in the AGA Thermovision System 680 in 1970.

The challenge solved by this thermal imaging camera was how to scan [over a wide area] using a single, very expensive, and liquid nitrogen cooled infrared detector. The solution was to pass the beam through two rotating [octagonal] germanium prisms, one horizontal and one vertical.
A picture is provided on page 114 from inverse problems in engineering mechanics.

The germanium prism is shown here.