A continuous-face-sheet Xinetics deformable mirror (DM) is characterized and analyzed using Fizeau interferometer measurements. The influence of each individual actuator on the DM surface is measured. The measured data is then processed to be used as influence functions that define the influence of each actuator on the DM surface. Using the measured data as a spanning set, an orthonormal basis is computed for the span of the set using singular value decomposition. Real surface measurements are taken of the orthonormal basis influences to test for both linear independence of the actuators and actuator linearity with respect to voltage. The efficacy of using the measured basis function data to converge toward a more accurate basis in an iterative process is evaluated. Performance of lower rank (compressed) bases are also evaluated.
The SPIE Student Chapter at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) is spearheading a new outreach project to encourage science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in grades K-12. This new outreach project is referred to as the Digital Holography Demonstration (DHD). Using a table-top setup, the DHD estimates the both the amplitude and phase of the complex-optical field, and in so doing, illustrates several fundamental optics and photonics principles including diffraction, refraction, and the interference of light. These fundamental optics and photonics principles have direct ties to current technologies being developed in the medical, astronomy, and defense communities (to name a few). This paper celebrates the resourcefulness of the DHD for STEM-based outreach events and provides a parts list, cost breakdown, and brochures, so that future efforts can benefit from its design.