OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 13, Iss. 11 — Nov. 1, 1974
  • pp: 2693–2703

Digital Wavefront Measuring Interferometer for Testing Optical Surfaces and Lenses

J. H. Bruning, D. R. Herriott, J. E. Gallagher, D. P. Rosenfeld, A. D. White, and D. J. Brangaccio  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 13, Issue 11, pp. 2693-2703 (1974)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (1751 KB) Open Access

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



A self-scanned 1024 element photodiode array and minicomputer are used to measure the phase (wavefront) in the interference pattern of an interferometer to λ/100. The photodiode array samples intensities over a 32 × 32 matrix in the interference pattern as the length of the reference arm is varied piezoelectrically. Using these data the minicomputer synchronously detects the phase at each of the 1024 points by a Fourier series method and displays the wavefront in contour and perspective plot on a storage oscilloscope in less than 1 min (Bruning et al. Paper WE16, OSA Annual Meeting, Oct. 1972). The array of intensities is sampled and averaged many times in a random fashion so that the effects of air turbulence, vibrations, and thermal drifts are minimized. Very significant is the fact that wavefront errors in the interferometer are easily determined and may be automatically subtracted from current or subsequent wavefrots. Various programs supporting the measurement system include software for determining the aperture boundary, sum and difference of wavefronts, removal or insertion of tilt and focus errors, and routines for spatial manipulation of wavefronts. FFT programs transform wavefront data into point spread function and modulus and phase of the optical transfer function of lenses. Display programs plot these functions in contour and perspective. The system has been designed to optimize the collection of data to give higher than usual accuracy in measuring the individual elements and final performance of assembled diffraction limited optical systems, and furthermore, the short loop time of a few minutes makes the system an attractive alternative to constraints imposed by test glasses in the optical shop.

© 1974 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: May 24, 1974
Published: November 1, 1974

J. H. Bruning, D. R. Herriott, J. E. Gallagher, D. P. Rosenfeld, A. D. White, and D. J. Brangaccio, "Digital Wavefront Measuring Interferometer for Testing Optical Surfaces and Lenses," Appl. Opt. 13, 2693-2703 (1974)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. J. H. Bruning, J. E. Gallagher, D. R. Herriott, C. L. Nenninger, D. P. Rosenfeld, A. D. White, “Real Time Wavefront Measurement System for Rapid Display of Surface Quality and Lens Performance,” Paper WE16, OSA Meeting (October 1972), San Francisco, Calif.
  2. J. H. Bruning, D. R. Herriott, Appl. Opt. 9, 2180 (1970). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. A. E. Jensen, “Absolute Calibration Method for Laser Twyman-Green Wavefront Testing Interferometers,” Paper ThG19, Fall OSA Meeting (October 1973), Rochester, N.Y.

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited