Telescopes with large aspherical primary mirrors collect more light and are therefore sought after by astronomers. Instead of large mirrors as a single piece, they can be made by use of numerous smaller segments. Because the segments must fit together to create the effect of a single mirror, segmented optics present unique challenges to fabrication and testing that are absent for monolithic optics. We have developed a new method for measuring large quantities of segments accurately, quickly, and economically using an interferometric test plate and computer-generated hologram (CGH). In this test, the aspheric mirror segments are interferometrically measured by use of a test plate with a best-fit spherical surface. The aspherical departure is accommodated with a small CGH that is imaged onto the test plates. The radius of curvature is tightly controlled by maintaining the gap between the test plate and the segment. We present a summary of the test and give the basic design tradeoffs for using a single system to measure all of the segments of a large aspheric mirror.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
(120.3940) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Metrology
(220.0220) Optical design and fabrication : Optical design and fabrication
(220.4840) Optical design and fabrication : Testing
Feenix Y. Pan and Jim Burge, "Efficient Testing of Segmented Aspherical Mirrors by Use of Reference Plate and Computer-Generated Holograms. I. Theory and System Optimization," Appl. Opt. 43, 5303-5312 (2004)