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With laser scanning devices, very roughly speaking, the maximum deflection angle seems to be inversly proportional to speed. So for example, while acousto-optic deflectors can steer the beam very quickly, they can only do so over a small angle. As I understand it, this situation is roughly analogous to electrostatic vs magnetic CRTs. Electrostatic tubes are much faster (thus their use in old analog scopes), but they also work over a much smaller angle and so have to be very long.

The idea that occurred is whether it would be possible to use optics, like so: http://i.imgur.com/6Xz0ng7.png to "magnify" the maximum angle that can be scanned with something like an acousto-optic deflector. The problem is, essentially, wouldn't you end up with something like this: http://i.imgur.com/0amCac0.png ? So, basically, is there anyway to increase the angle of laser beams from a scanner without also compensatingly increasing the divergence of the beam?

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You may want to consider an afocal teleconverter:

Afocal teleconverter

It is composed of two lenses, with a coincident focal plane. This will multiply the beam angle by some factor, keeping the beam parallelism. It is somewhat similar to the principle of binoculars.

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  • $\begingroup$ Wow thank you, that looks like it's exactly what I'm looking for. $\endgroup$ – krfkeith Sep 13 '13 at 8:48

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