9 September 2005 Optical alignment using the Point Source Microscope
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Proceedings Volume 5877, Optomechanics 2005; 58770B (2005) https://doi.org/10.1117/12.618165
Event: Optics and Photonics 2005, 2005, San Diego, California, United States
We give an example of a Point Source Microscope (PSM) and describe its uses as an aid in the alignment of optical systems including the referencing of optical to mechanical datums. The PSM is a small package (about 100x150x30 mm), including a point source of light, beam splitter, microscope objective and digital CCD camera to detect the reflected light spot. A software package in conjunction with a computer video display locates the return image in three degrees of freedom relative to an electronic spatial reference point. The PSM also includes a Koehler illumination source so it may be used as a portable microscope for ordinary imaging and the microscope can be zoomed under computer control. For added convenience, the laser diode point source can be made quite bright to facilitate initial alignment under typical laboratory lighting conditions. The PSM is particularly useful in aligning optical systems that do not have circular symmetry or are distributed in space such as off-axis systems. The PSM is also useful for referencing the centers of curvatures of optical surfaces to mechanical datums of the structure in which the optics are mounted. By removing the microscope objective the PSM can be used as an electronic autocollimator because of the infinite conjugate optical design.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert E. Parks, William P. Kuhn, "Optical alignment using the Point Source Microscope", Proc. SPIE 5877, Optomechanics 2005, 58770B (9 September 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.618165; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.618165

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