Paul Manhart double majored in Astronomy and Physics at the University of Arizona, and is a graduate from the Optical Sciences Center. He has over fourty years experience in the design of optical systems for civil space, defense, and consumer markets.
While at JPL, Manhart designed optical systems for interplanetary spacecraft and developed tolerancing software for large segmented telescope mirrors. He was also involved in the design and analysis of the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) telescope and instruments, CASSINI craft optics and the Mars Observer.
At Raytheon Missile Systems, Manhart was the Section Manager for the optical design group and the technical program manager for the advanced kinetic energy weapon for the Navy (LEAP). He developed a novel and compact TMA that was the subject of a paper at the 1998 International Optical Design Conference in Kona, HI. He was also instrumental in developing missile seeker designs incorporating conformal optical domes.
At LightPath Technologies Manhart was VP of Engineering and responsible for the technology development for the large scale-AGRIN glass (GRADIUM™). He and a small group of engineers developed a dispersion model for the glass whose index and Abby number varied monotonically from front to back. He implemented the dispersion model and design capability into lens design software (CodeV, ZEMAX, OSLO) and developed tolerancing software for lens depth within the AGRIN blank.
In 2002, he chaired the International Optical Design Conference in Tucson, AZ with Dr. Jose Sasian. Manhart has been active for 25 years designing optical systems for digital displays, from personal viewers to large-scale digital theaters. He has published over 37 papers on optical design and engineering. He has 11 patents and 6 NASA awards for innovation. He currently works for NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA doing optical design for space applications.