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Proceedings Paper

Effect Of Small Wavefront Errors And Aperture Obscurations On System Image Quality
Author(s): Bruce H. Walker
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Paper Abstract

Quite frequently, an otherwise rational individual will produce an optical system performance specification that is virtually unachievable due to either diffraction effects, manufacturing limitations or both. This paper presents several examples of perfect and near perfect optical systems, demonstrating the effect that small residual wavefront errors have on system image quality. Also examined is the effect of diffraction phenomena when an aperture obscuration of significant dimensions is present. Image quality has been evaluated in two ways. First, the Line Spread Function is examined in order to demonstrate the effect in terms of basic image sharpness. Second, the Modulation Transfer Function has been generated for each case in order to show the effect in terms of image contrast and overall system resolution. Results indicate that diffraction effects, particularly when an aperture obscuration is present, and small residual wavefront errors will have a significant effect on final system performance. In order to realistically evaluate the impact of this image quality degradation, one must carefully consider the ultimate function of the system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 July 1985
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 0549, Image Quality: An Overview, (2 July 1985); doi: 10.1117/12.948816
Show Author Affiliations
Bruce H. Walker, Kollmorgen Corporation (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0549:
Image Quality: An Overview
Lionel R. Baker; Edward M. Granger, Editor(s)

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