Optical EngineeringMeasurement of the inhomogeneity of a window
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We describe three methods to measure the inhomogeneity of a window material. The first method immerses the window in a liquid between two planes. However, this method is inconvenient for some applications. The second method measures the optical figure of the front surface and then measures the return wavefront that transmits through the window and reflects from the rear surface of the window. The advantage of this method is that it can remove the contributions of both the surface figures and the return flat plus the system error of the interferometer. The disadvantage is that a small wedge must be fabricated between the two surfaces to eliminate spurious interference. The third method derives the inhomogeneity of the window material by measuring the optical figure of the front surface of the window and then flipping the mirror to measure the back surface. The advantage of this method is that it is not necessary to have a wedge between the two surfaces. The disadvantage of the window-flipping method is that the contribution of system error can increase.