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Proceedings Paper

Automated alignment of complex optical systems using a simplex optimization algorithm
Author(s): Louis J. Palumbo; Mark A. Smith; Michelle A. Thomas; Alex Ballantyne; William J. Buitenhuys; Amy Jo Cielinski; Gary Golnik
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Paper Abstract

A broadly applicable methodology for automated alignment of complex optical systems has been developed. Investigations using numerical simulations have demonstrated that this methodology is robust and viable as an approach for aligning the resonator optics of the ALPHA high energy laser and the wide-field of view three-mirror beam expander developed under the Advanced Beam Control System (ABCS) program. The complexity of both systems makes them difficult and time consuming to align manually and also makes them prime candidates for automated alignment. The approach is based on the downhill simplex method in multidimensions, a general and very robust mathematical technique for finding the optimum of a function of many independent variables. Our confidence in the simplex algorithm's applicability to optical alignment has been enhanced by its success in these numerical simulations, in experiments, and also in additional simulations of other optical systems. We conclude that an autoalignment approach based on the simplex algorithm is an excellent choice for a wide range of optical systems of arbitrary complexity.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 October 1993
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1996, Optical Alignment, (15 October 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.160403
Show Author Affiliations
Louis J. Palumbo, W.J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)
Mark A. Smith, W.J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)
Michelle A. Thomas, W.J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)
Alex Ballantyne, W.J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)
William J. Buitenhuys, W.J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)
Amy Jo Cielinski, W.J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)
Gary Golnik, W.J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1996:
Optical Alignment
Mitchell C. Ruda, Editor(s)

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