2011

Computer Generated Hologram System for Wavefront Measurement System Calibration

Computer Generated Holograms (CGHs) have been used for some time to calibrate interferometers that require nulling optics. A typical scenario is the testing of aspheric surfaces with an interferometer placed near the paraxial center of curvature. Existing CGH technology suffers from a reduced capacity to calibrate middle and high spatial frequencies. The root cause of this shortcoming is as follows: the CGH is not placed at an image conjugate of the asphere due to limitations imposed by the geometry of the test and the allowable size of the CGH.

This innovation provides a calibration system where the imaging properties in calibration can be made comparable to the test configuration. Thus, if the test is designed to have good imaging properties, then middle and high spatial frequency errors in the test system can be well calibrated. The improved imaging properties are provided by a rudimentary auxiliary optic as part of the calibration system. The auxiliary optic is simple to characterize and align to the CGH. Use of the auxiliary optic also reduces the size of the CGH required for calibration and the density of the lines required for the CGH. The resulting CGH is less expensive than the existing technology and has reduced write error and alignment error sensitivities.

This CGH system is suitable for any kind of calibration using an interferometer when high spatial resolution is required. It is especially well suited for tests that include segmented optical components or large apertures.

This work was done by Gene Olczak of ITT Geospatial Systems for Goddard Space Flight Center. For further information, contact the Goddard Innovative Partnerships Office at (301) 286-5810. GSC-15676-1