20 October 2014 Optical metrology at the Optical Sciences Center: an historical review
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Abstract
The Optical Sciences Center (OSC) begun as a graduate-level applied optics teaching institution to support the US space effort. The making of optics representative of those used in other space programs was deemed essential. This led to the need for optical metrology: at first Hartmann tests, but almost immediately to interferometric tests using the newly invented HeNe laser. Not only were new types of interferometers needed, but the whole infrastructure that went with testing, fringe location methods, aberration removal software and contour map generation to aid the opticians during polishing needed to be developed. Over the last half century more rapid and precise methods of interferogram data reduction, surface roughness measurement, and methods of instrument calibration to separate errors from those in the optic have been pioneered at OSC. Other areas of research included null lens design and the writing of lens design software that led into the design of computer generated holograms for asphere testing. More recently work has been done on the reduction of speckle noise in interferograms, methods to test large convex aspheres, and a return to slope measuring tests to increase the dynamic range of the types of aspheric surfaces amenable to optical testing including free-form surfaces. This paper documents the history of the development of optical testing projects at OSC and highlights the contributions some of the individuals associated with new methods of testing and the infrastructure needed to support the testing. We conclude with comments about the future trends optical metrology.
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Katherine Creath, Robert E. Parks, "Optical metrology at the Optical Sciences Center: an historical review", Proc. SPIE 9186, Fifty Years of Optical Sciences at The University of Arizona, 91860T (20 October 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2064376; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2064376
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