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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 17, Iss. 17 — Sep. 1, 1978
  • pp: 2677–2685

Three-mirror telescopes: design and optimization

Paul N. Robb  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 17, Issue 17, pp. 2677-2685 (1978)

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A set of equations is developed which yields the constructional parameters of three-mirror all-reflecting optical systems. An equation whose factors allow the shape of the image surface to be controlled is also derived. A method of optimizing the performance of three-mirror systems by varying the inputs to the design equations is described, and the results are compared with those obtained through a conventional numerical design optimization. The technique described is shown to be markedly superior to the usual optimization method of varying the constructional parameters of the system.

© 1978 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: July 15, 1977
Published: September 1, 1978

Paul N. Robb, "Three-mirror telescopes: design and optimization," Appl. Opt. 17, 2677-2685 (1978)

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  15. Note that the image surface introduces vignetting at half-field angles greater than approximately 0.7°. The design illustrated in Fig. 5 was intended to operate with a line field, i.e., as a scanning system. The vignetting produced by the focal plane in this case was insignificant.
  16. The cost to design these systems is very modest; most of the calculations required are to evaluate the figure of merit. Using the merit function of Ref. 10 and computing the optical aberration coefficients out through the seventh order, the time per configuration averaged 15 msec on a Univac 1110 computer. This works out to a cost of 0.54 cents per design configuration.

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