Traditional null optics is generally designed for a particular optical surface. It must be redesigned when the test surface is changed no matter the null optic is reflective, transmitted or a CGH. Development of advanced optical machining and testing based on deterministic figuring and null test makes it possible to apply high-order aspheres. This paper presents a plano-concave singlet to realize variable aberration correction for testing different surfaces. The concave surface is an even asphere with high-order terms. By changing the axial distances among the transmission sphere, the null singlet and the test surface, variable aberrations are generated to meet the aberration balance requirement for various surfaces. The residual aberrations are confirmed within the vertical dynamic range of measurement of the interferometer. It enables flexible testing of optical surfaces without dedicated null optics. The optical design verifies that the aspheric singlet can be used to test conic surfaces with different conic constant and radius of curvature ranging from ellipsoid, paraboloid to hyperboloid and an even asphere.
Cylindrical mirrors are key optics of high-end equipment of national defense and scientific research such as high energy laser weapons, synchrotron radiation system, etc. However, its surface error test technology develops slowly. As a result, its optical processing quality can not meet the requirements, and the developing of the associated equipment is hindered. Computer Generated-Hologram (CGH) is commonly utilized as null for testing cylindrical optics. However, since the fabrication process of CGH with large aperture is not sophisticated yet, the null test of cylindrical optics with large aperture is limited by the aperture of the CGH. Hence CGH null test combined with sub-aperture stitching method is proposed to break the limit of the aperture of CGH for testing cylindrical optics, and the design of CGH for testing cylindrical surfaces is analyzed. Besides, the misalignment aberration of cylindrical surfaces is different from that of the rotational symmetric surfaces since the special shape of cylindrical surfaces, and the existing stitching algorithm of rotational symmetric surfaces can not meet the requirements of stitching cylindrical surfaces. We therefore analyze the misalignment aberrations of cylindrical surfaces, and study the stitching algorithm for measuring cylindrical optics with large aperture. Finally we test a cylindrical mirror with large aperture to verify the validity of the proposed method.
The ring cage is used to suspend an inertial mass and then detect the gravity with an extremely high sensitivity for electrostatic suspension space accelerometers. Geometric errors are required to be at submicron level, which makes it challenging and expensive to machine the ring cage by means of ultraprecision grinding. We propose an alternative solution by optical machining based on interferometric characterization of the geometric error. The flatness of the internal surface is measured with a skip-flat test. To deal with the mechanical perturbation in parallelism measurement, a differential method is proposed to simultaneously cancel out the figure error and tip-tilt of the cavity. Perpendicularity of the internal surfaces is indirectly characterized by combining the internal flatness, parallelism, and perpendicularity of the external surfaces. We introduce another interferometer to monitor the parallelism of two retro-reflectors in real time and measure the perpendicularity and pyramidal error of the external surfaces simultaneously. The test procedure and data reduction are illustrated experimentally.