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Proceedings Paper

A simple tool for alignment and wavefront testing: experimental results
Author(s): William P. Kuhn
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Paper Abstract

Alignment telescopes and interferometers are commonly used for the alignment of an optical system. Although alignment telescopes quantify angles, they are not particular helpful for quantifying wavefront quality. Interferometers by comparison are often used for alignment, but are most useful for quantifying wavefront quality. However, an optical system must be fairly well aligned before one can even use an interferometer. Many optical systems require the sensitivity and accuracy of an interferometer for final alignment. However, there are many optical systems where visual inspection of a star test would be adequate for system qualification, except for the fact that a visual test is qualitative. An autostigmatic or point source microscope (PSM) is a convenient tool for alignment and performance of a star-test. Like an alignment telescope, an autostigmatic microscope does not conveniently quantify the wavefront quality. Once a focused spot is obtained with an autostigmatic microscope a plane-parallel plate inserted into the converging beam path may be used to introduce a known focus shift. The resulting image may be used to estimate low order-aberrations. Experimental results are presented using very simple hardware.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 September 2008
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7068, Optical System Alignment and Tolerancing II, 70680C (2 September 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.798224
Show Author Affiliations
William P. Kuhn, Opt-E (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7068:
Optical System Alignment and Tolerancing II
José M. Sasian; Richard Neil Youngworth, Editor(s)

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