One important prerequisite for interferometric length measurements of high accuracy is autocollimation adjustment. This guarantees that the direction of the length scale represented by light waves is parallel to the length direction of the object investigated. First we describe the conventional visual autocollimation adjustment method used at Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt since the beginning of interferometric length measurements. Then a new autocollimation method based on scanning the retroreflection from the interferometer is described. Check measurements are performed in order to investigate the quality of the adjustment. As a result of the method applied the uncertainty contribution originating from the cosine error could be reduced drastically for the interferometer used.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
(120.0120) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(120.3940) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Metrology
(120.5050) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Phase measurement
René Schödel and Gerhard Bönsch, "Highest-Accuracy Interferometer Alignment by Retroreflection Scanning," Appl. Opt. 43, 5738-5743 (2004)