Given the increasing necessity of simple, economical and reliable methods and instruments for performing quality tests of optical surfaces such as mirrors and lenses, in the recent years we resumed the study of the long forgotten Foucault knife-edge test from the point of view of the physical optics, ultimately achieving a closed mathematical expression that directly relates the knife-edge position along the displacement paraxial axis with the observable irradiance pattern, which later allowed us to propose a quantitative methodology for estimating the wavefront error of an aspherical mirror with precision akin to interferometry. <p> </p>
In this work, we present a further improved digital image processing algorithm in which the sigmoidal cost-function for calculating the transient slope-point of each associated intensity-illumination profile is replaced for a simplified version of it, thus making the whole process of estimating the wavefront gradient remarkably more stable and efficient, at the same time, the Fourier based algorithm employed for gradient integration has been replaced as well for a regularized quadratic cost-function that allows a considerably easier introduction of the region of interest (ROI) of the function, which solved by means of a linear gradient conjugate method largely increases the overall accuracy and efficiency of the algorithm. <p> </p>
This revised approach of our methodology can be easily implemented and handled by most single-board microcontrollers in the market, hence enabling the implementation of a full-integrated automatized test apparatus, opening a realistic path for even the proposal of a stand-alone optical mirror analyzer prototype.