2020 Harvey Scattering Tech Seminar

Evolution of a Linear Systems Formulation of Surface Scatter Theory

Presider: Prof. James Breckinridge

Location: Room 821, Wyant College of Optical Sciences, Meinel Bldg.
Date and Time: 2:00 PM, Feb. 24th, 2020


Speaker: Prof. James E. Harvey, Photon Engineering, LLC

HarveyJames E. Harvey, Opt Sci Phd ‘76  is a retired Associate Professor from the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL) at the University of Central Florida. He is currently a Senior Optical Engineer with Photon Engineering, LLC in Tucson, AZ. He was involved in President Reagan’s Star Wars program and has worked on a variety of NASA space science programs including the Chandra Observatory and the Solar X-ray Imager.  Dr. Harvey is credited with over two hundred technical publications.  He is a Fellow and past Board Member of SPIE and a member of OSA.



Terrestrial exoplanet imaging and spectroscopy require minimum scattered light in telescopes and instruments. This seminar explores the current state of the art of physical optics for  scattered light necessary to design and build coronagraphs for exoplanet characterization.

The original Harvey-Shack (OHS) surface scatter theory was developed as a scalar linear systems formulation in which scattered light behavior was characterized by a surface transfer function (STF) reminiscent of the optical transfer function (OTF) of modern image formation theory (1976).

In 2011 the generalized Harvey-Shack (GHS) surface scatter theory, characterized by a two-parameter family of STFs, evolved into a practical modeling tool to calculate BRDFs from optical surface metrology data for situations that violate the smooth surface approximation inherent in the Rayleigh-Rice theory and/or the moderate‑angle limitation of the Beckmann-Kirchhoff theory. The STF can be multiplied by the classical OTF to provide a complete linear systems formulation of image quality as degraded by diffraction, geometrical aberrations and surface scatter effects.