A discussion of field-of-view (F.O.V.) and expected wavefront errors for the standard solid and open cube-corner retroreflector (C.C.R.) is compared with a catseye retroreflector (C.E.R.). The asymmetry of the C.C.R. F.O.V. will be compared to the completely symmetrical F.O.V. for a C.E.R. Ray trace spot diagrams for a catseye design will be presented that show the interaction on requirements for (clear aperture)-(wavefront quality)-(field of view). A discussion of retroreflector design considerations will show that a catseye retroreflector design performs well at large field-of-view angles where a basic C.C.R. has no performance. The thermal considerations, when using a C.C.R. in an outdoor environment, would add to the design complexity for mounting the elements of a hollow or open C.C.R. The catseye retroreflector, while having tight manufacturing tolerances, would be relatively free of mounting design complexity. The simpler mounting design requirements are obtained from a less critical alignment requirement for the assembled C.E.R. The polarization effects that a C.C.R. would introduce into a return beam would be totally eliminated by a C.E.R.
Joseph B.C. Fuller, Jr.,
"Retroreflector Concepts; Corner-Cube Compared To Catseye", Proc. SPIE 0818, Current Developments in Optical Engineering II, (1 January 1987); doi: 10.1117/12.967454; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.967454