Two different approaches for ultra flat image acquisition sensors on the basis of artificial compound eyes are examined. In apposition optics the image reconstruction is based on moire or static sampling while the superposition eye approach produces an overall image. Both types of sensors are compared with respect to theoretical
limitations of resolution, sensitivity and system thickness. Explicit design rules are given. A paraxial 3x3 matrix formalism is used to describe the arrangement of three microlens arrays with different pitches to find first order parameters of artificial superposition eyes. The model is validated by analysis of the system with raytracing software. Measurements of focal length of anamorphic reflow lenses, which are key components of the superposition
approach, under oblique incidence are performed. For the second approach, the artificial apposition eye, a first demonstrator system is presented. The monolithic device consists of a UV-replicated reflow microlens array on a thin silica-substrate with a pinhole array in a metal layer on the backside. The pitch of the pinholes differs from the lens array pitch to enable an individual viewing angle for each channel. Imaged test patterns are presented and measurements of the angular sensitivity function are compared to calculations using commercial raytracing software.© (2004) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.