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Photopia for SOLIDWORKS Tutorial

Aerospace Setup and FAA Reports

In this tutorial you will evaluate a beam for compliance with FAA Position and Anti Collision strobe lighting requirements. If you need to review the basics of Photopia for SOLIDWORKS, then start with the Beginner 1: LED TIR Collimator tutorial.

Solidworks Aerospace Tutorial - Overview

Files to Download

  PDF of Tutorial

Skills Covered

Type A Coordiante System fo Aerospace

photopia|reports FAA Compliance Reports

Skill Level



1. Open your project

Open SOLIDWORKS and open an assembly you would like to analyze.

2. Setup lamps and materials

Add the appropriate light source and assign appearances to the optical parts.

3. Insert a Photometric Origin

Add a Reference Point at the exit surface of your optic by going to Insert > Reference Geometry > Point.

Solidworks Aerospace Tutorial - Reference Point

4. Insert a Reference Coordinate System

Add a Reference Coordinate System by going to Insert > Reference Geometry > Coordinate System.

For the origin select the point you defined in Step 3.

The +Z axis should point towards the aft of the aircraft.

The +Y axis should point up with respect to gravity.

Click OK to add the coordinate system.

Solidworks Aerospace Tutorial - Reference Coordinate System

5. Setup Photometric Settings

Select the new coordinate system defined in Step 4.

Select Photometric Settings in the Photopia CommandManager.

Change the Photometry Type to Aerospace/Automotive.

Ensure the Photometric Type is Type A.

Set the Horizontal angles from -180 to 180 in 5 degree increments [-180(5)180].

Set the Vertical angles from -90 to 90 in 5 degree increments [-90(5)90].

As long as your Reference Coordinate System was oriented properly, your Photometric Coordinates should match the images below.

Click OK to save the Photometric Settings.

Solidworks Aerospace Tutorial - Photometric Sphere

Solidworks Aerospace Tutorial - Photometric Sphere

6. Setup Raytrace Settings

Select Raytrace Settings in the Photopia CommandManager.

Keep the default of 2.5M rays and 25 ray reactions.

Ensure the Photometric Type is Type A.

Click OK to save the Raytrace Settings.

7. Save the Assembly

8. Run the raytrace

9. View the results

Select Results in the Photopia CommandManager.

10. Export IES File

In the Results window, choose the IES File section and then click on the export button in the upper right to save the IES file to disk.

11. Open IES File

Open photopia|reports and browse to the IES file, or right click on the exported IES file and choose Open.

12. Choose FAA Report

Choose IES Report from the left menu and then choose any of the 4 FAA Compliance Reports from the thumbnails.

Solidworks Aerospace Tutorial - FAA Templates

13. Intensity Plot

The first page of the report contains an intensity plot that shows the distribution.

Solidworks Aerospace Tutorial - Intensity Plot

14. Pass/Fail Table

The second page of the report contains a simplified intensity table which shows the % of target candela along with a pass/fail indication both for minimum and maximum candela locations.

Solidworks Aerospace Tutorial - PassFail Table

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LTI Optics provides Photopia, the industries leading optical design software and optical analysis software for designing and analyzing illumination optical systems. Photopia optical design software works alone or is an add-in to SOLIDWORKS, allowing full opto-mechanical integration.

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