On-machine measurements can improve the form accuracy of optical surfaces in single-point diamond turning applications; however, commercially available linear variable differential transformer sensors are inaccurate and can potentially scratch the surface. We present an on-machine measurement system based on capacitive displacement sensors for high-precision optical surfaces. In the proposed system, a position-trigger method of measurement was developed to ensure strict correspondence between the measurement points and the measurement data with no intervening time-delay. In addition, a double-sensor measurement was proposed to reduce the electric signal noise during spindle rotation. Using the proposed system, the repeatability of 80-nm peak-to-valley (PV) and 8-nm root-mean-square (RMS) was achieved through analyzing four successive measurement results. The accuracy of 109-nm PV and 14-nm RMS was obtained by comparing with the interferometer measurement result. An aluminum spherical mirror with a diameter of 300 mm was fabricated, and the resulting measured form error after one compensation cut was decreased to 254 nm in PV and 52 nm in RMS. These results confirm that the measurements of the surface form errors were successfully used to modify the cutting tool path during the compensation cut, thereby ensuring that the diamond turning process was more deterministic. In addition, the results show that the noise level was significantly reduced with the reference sensor even under a high rotational speed.
A feasible way to improve the manufacturing efficiency of large reaction-bonded silicon carbide optics is to increase the processing accuracy in the ground stage before polishing, which requires high accuracy metrology. A swing arm profilometer (SAP) has been used to measure large optics during the ground stage. A method has been developed for improving the measurement accuracy of SAP using a capacitive probe and implementing calibrations. The experimental result compared with the interferometer test shows the accuracy of 0.068 μm in root-mean-square (RMS) and maps in 37 low-order Zernike terms show accuracy of 0.048 μm RMS, which shows a powerful capability to provide a major input in high-precision grinding.
The swing arm profilometer (SAP) has been playing a very important role in testing large aspheric optics. As one of most significant error sources that affects the test accuracy, misalignment error leads to low-order errors such as aspherical aberrations and coma apart from power. In order to analyze the effect of misalignment errors, the relation between alignment parameters and test results of axisymmetric optics is presented. Analytical solutions of SAP system errors from tested mirror misalignment, arm length L deviation, tilt-angle θ deviation, air-table spin error, and air-table misalignment are derived, respectively; and misalignment tolerance is given to guide surface measurement. In addition, experiments on a 2-m diameter parabolic mirror are demonstrated to verify the model; according to the error budget, we achieve the SAP test for low-order errors except power with accuracy of 0.1 μm root-mean-square.