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Proceedings Paper

Lidar metrology for prescription characterization and alignment of large mirrors
Author(s): B. Eegholm; W. Eichhorn; R. von Handorf; J. Hayden; R. Ohl; G. Wenzel
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Paper Abstract

We describe the use of LIDAR, or "laser radar," (LR) as a fast, accurate, and non-contact tool for the measurement of the radius of curvature (RoC) of large mirrors. We report the results of a demonstration of this concept using a commercial laser radar system. We measured the RoC of a 1.4m x 1m spherical mirror with a nominal RoC of 4.6m with a manufacturing tolerance of 4600mm +/- 6mm. The prescription of the mirror is related to its role as ground support equipment used in the test of part of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The RoC of such a large mirror is not easily measured without contacting the surface. From a position near the center of curvature of the mirror, the LIDAR scanned the mirror surface, sampling it with 1 point per 3.5 cm2. The measurement consisted of 3983 points and lasted only a few minutes. The laser radar uses the LIDAR signal to provide range, and encoder information from angular azimuth and elevation rotation stages provide the spherical coordinates of a given point. A best-fit to a sphere of the measured points was performed. The resulting RoC was within 20 ppm of the nominal RoC, also showing good agreement with the results of a laser tracker-based, contact metrology. This paper also discusses parameters such as test alignment, scan density, and optical surface type, as well as future possible application for full prescription characterization of aspherical mirrors, including radius, conic, off-axis distance, and aperture.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 September 2011
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8131, Optical System Alignment, Tolerancing, and Verification V, 81310I (12 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.895012
Show Author Affiliations
B. Eegholm, Sigma Space Corp. (United States)
W. Eichhorn, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
R. von Handorf, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
J. Hayden, Sigma Space Corp. (United States)
R. Ohl, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
G. Wenzel, QinetiQ North America (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8131:
Optical System Alignment, Tolerancing, and Verification V
José Sasián; Richard N. Youngworth, Editor(s)

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