The metrology of freeform wavefront can be performed by the use of a noninterferometric method, such as a Shack–Hartmann sensor (SHS). Detailed experimental investigations employing an SHS as metrology head are presented. The scheme is of nonnull nature where small subapertures are measured using an SHS and stitched to give the full wavefront. For the assessment of complex misalignment errors during the spiral scanning, a library of residual slope errors has been created, which makes the alignment process fast converging for minimizing the scanning errors. A detailed analysis of the effects of slope and positioning error on reproducibility is presented. It is validated by null test where a null diffractive optical element has been used in a Mach–Zehnder configuration for compensating the freeform shape. A freeform optics is measured by both measurement schemes, and the results are in good agreement. Further, the nonnull-based scanning subaperture stitching scheme is also validated by performing measurements on an aspheric surface and compared with the measurements from the interferometric method (Zygo Verifire).
The increased range of manufacturable freeform surfaces offered by the new fabrication techniques is giving
opportunities to incorporate them in the optical systems. However, the success of these fabrication techniques depends
on the capabilities of metrology procedures and a feedback mechanism to CNC machines for optimizing the
manufacturing process. Therefore, a precise and in-situ metrology technique for freeform optics is in demand. Though
all the techniques available for aspheres have been extended for the freeform surfaces by the researchers, but none of the
techniques has yet been incorporated into the manufacturing machine for in-situ measurement. The most obvious reason
is the complexity involved in the optical setups to be integrated in the manufacturing platforms. The Shack-Hartmann
sensor offers the potential to be incorporated into the machine environment due to its vibration insensitivity, compactness
and 3D shape measurement capability from slope data. In the present work, a measurement scheme is reported in which a
scanning Shack-Hartmann Sensor has been employed and used as a metrology tool for measurement of freeform surface
in reflection mode. Simulation studies are conducted for analyzing the stitching accuracy in presence of various
misalignment errors. The proposed scheme is experimentally verified on a freeform surface of cubic phase profile.