Abstract

A null test method for testing aspheric optical surfaces based on geometric considerations of conic sections is presented. The basic principles have been investigated experimentally by designing and building a modified Mach-Zehnder interferometer. By using optical fibers the inconvenience of alignment has partly been overcome. Phase shifting has been implemented and the measurements are performed with the help of a microcomputer. The performance of the interferometer has been investigated by testing an elliptical toroid mirror. Further improvement of the test procedure by Zernike polynomial decomposition is discussed and performed. Finally, an even more compact conic section interferometer is proposed.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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