2 September 2008 A simple tool for alignment and wavefront testing: experimental results
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Alignment telescopes and interferometers are commonly used for the alignment of an optical system. Although alignment telescopes quantify angles, they are not particular helpful for quantifying wavefront quality. Interferometers by comparison are often used for alignment, but are most useful for quantifying wavefront quality. However, an optical system must be fairly well aligned before one can even use an interferometer. Many optical systems require the sensitivity and accuracy of an interferometer for final alignment. However, there are many optical systems where visual inspection of a star test would be adequate for system qualification, except for the fact that a visual test is qualitative. An autostigmatic or point source microscope (PSM) is a convenient tool for alignment and performance of a star-test. Like an alignment telescope, an autostigmatic microscope does not conveniently quantify the wavefront quality. Once a focused spot is obtained with an autostigmatic microscope a plane-parallel plate inserted into the converging beam path may be used to introduce a known focus shift. The resulting image may be used to estimate low order-aberrations. Experimental results are presented using very simple hardware.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
William P. Kuhn, "A simple tool for alignment and wavefront testing: experimental results", Proc. SPIE 7068, Optical System Alignment and Tolerancing II, 70680C (2 September 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.798224; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.798224


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