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24 September 2015 Design and development of a profilometer for the fast and accurate characterization of optical surfaces
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With the advent of techniques devised for the mass production of optical components made with surfaces of arbitrary form (also known as free form surfaces) in the last years, a parallel development of measuring systems adapted for these new kind of surfaces constitutes a real necessity for the industry. Profilometry is one of the preferred methods for the assessment of the quality of a surface, and is widely employed in the optical fabrication industry for the quality control of its products. In this work, we present the design, development and assembly of a new profilometer with five axis of movement, specifically suited to the measurement of medium size (up to 150 mm of diameter) "free-form" optical surfaces with sub-micrometer accuracy and low measuring times. The apparatus is formed by three X, Y, Z linear motorized positioners plus and additional angular and a tilt positioner employed to locate accurately the surface to be measured and the probe which can be a mechanical or an optical one, being optical one a confocal sensor based on chromatic aberration. Both optical and mechanical probes guarantee an accuracy lower than the micrometer in the determination of the surface height, thus ensuring an accuracy in the surface curvatures of the order of 0.01 D or better. An original calibration procedure based on the measurement of a precision sphere has been developed in order to correct the perpendicularity error between the axes of the linear positioners. To reduce the measuring time of the profilometer, a custom electronics, based on an Arduino™ controller, have been designed and produced in order to synchronize the five motorized positioners and the optical and mechanical probes so that a medium size surface (around 10 cm of diameter) with a dynamic range in curvatures of around 10 D, can be measured in less than 300 seconds (using three axes) keeping the resolution in height and curvature in the figures mentioned above.
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José A. Gómez-Pedrero, Diego Rodríguez-Ibañez, José Alonso, and Juan A. Quirgoa "Design and development of a profilometer for the fast and accurate characterization of optical surfaces", Proc. SPIE 9628, Optical Systems Design 2015: Optical Fabrication, Testing, and Metrology V, 96281I (24 September 2015);

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