A variety of tools, such as alignment telescopes and interferometers, are used in the alignment of optical systems.
Alignment telescopes quantify angles, and connect an optical axis to a mechanical axis, but they are not particularly
helpful for quantifying errors in a wavefront. Interferometers, which have exquisite sensitivity and accuracy for
wavefront measurement, are often used for the final qualification of an optical system. However, an interferometer is
not the most convenient tool for alignment. An alternative tool for alignment is the point source microscope (PSM),
which is an example of an autostigmatic microscope. The PSM is a flexible, convenient tool, but like an alignment
telescope, it does not quantify the wavefront. On the other hand, the PSM does provide real-time feedback to an
operator in a compact tool. In order to complete an alignment process it is necessary to quantify the wavefront quality,
and it is desirable to use only a single tool. Methods for quantifying wavefront quality with an autostigmatic
microscope, a tool primarily used for alignment, are described.