GLAD Features

  • Simple conventional systems or complex multiple laser beam trains
  • Coherent and incoherent interactions
  • Nonlinear gain models
  • Lenses and mirrors: spherical, toroidal or cylindrical
  • General aperture shapes
  • Near- and far-field diffraction propagation
  • Stable and unstable resonator modeling
  • Aberration effects including: Seidel, Zernike, phase grating, and smoothed random wavefronts
  • Lens and mirror arrays
  • Variable size arrays to 32,768 x 32,768 (GLAD 64 bit) and beyond
  • Rectangular arrays and separable diffraction theory
  • Propagation of multiple, independent laser beam trains
  • Automatic propagation technique control (may be overridden)
  • Special features for resonator design
  • Gain sheets, rate equation kinetics
  • Global coordinate system and geometrical aberrations
  • Arbitrary mirror locations and rotations
  • Raman, four-wave mixing, frequency doubling
  • High Fresnel numbers
  • Kolmogorov model of atmospheric aberration
  • Thermal blooming
  • Self-focusing effects
  • Zonal adaptive optics model
  • Phase conjugation
  • Polarization modeling
  • Partially coherent modeling
  • Variable index of refraction modeling
  • ABCD propagators
  • Fiber optics and 3-D waveguides
  • Binary optics and gratings
  • Vector diffraction for high NA objective lenses
  • M^2 characterization
  • Phase retrieval method
  • Finite-element thermal modeling
  • Phase retrieval and simulated annealing optimization


  • Least squares optimization of any configuration
  • User-defined merit functions
  • All system parameters may be used as optimizing variables

Geometrical optics

  • Lens groups may be defined and analyzed using conventional geometrical optics methods

User Interface

  • Interactive command structure
  • Integrated design environment (IDE)
  • Graphical displays: isometrics, profiles, polarization, contour plots
  • enhanced graphics: bitmaps, combined isometric and contour plots, Windows printing and metafiles
  • Utilities for conversion of graphics to Windows metafiles (*.wmf)and PostScript
  • Macros of commands
  • Algebraic expressions and user-defined variables in commands
  • Interface with user programs for pre- and post-processing
  • More than 90 examples of all types of systems

Command language

GLAD has a simple but powerful command language so that problems can be set up rapidly and conveniently. To facilitate learning the command language, numerous examples are provided in the Examples Manual. To aid in modeling complex systems, a sophisticated MACRO language is provided.

Easy to use and learn

GLAD has been engineered to be easy to use. Commands are mnemonic. The program may be run interactively or in conjunction with files of commands. You can begin working immediately from the any of the more than 90 examples which are distributed with the code. GLAD is thoroughly documented in several volumes: detailing the theoretical basis, command descriptions, and over 90 examples from a wide range of applications.

Automatic algorithm selection

GLAD makes diffraction calculations easy by handling the details need for accurate numerical analysis. Diffraction calculations employ different algorithms for near- and far-field calculations. GLAD selects the appropriate algorithm automatically to avoid excessive aliasing errors.

Fully supported

AOR provides free technical support for one full year. For international customers fax and e-mail allow quick and convenient support because of GLAD's text-based command format.


One full year warranty (extendable). Any reported defects will be repaired at no cost.