Freeform surfaces have advantages on balancing asymmetric aberration of the unobscured push-broom imager. However, since the conventional paraxial aberration theory is no longer appropriate for the freeform system design, designers are lack of insights on the imaging quality from the freeform aberration distribution. In order to design the freeform optical system efficiently, the contribution and nodal behavior of coma and astigmatism introduced by Standard Zernike polynomial surface are discussed in detail. An unobscured three-mirror optical system with 850 mm effective focal length, 20°× 2° field of view (FOV) is designed. The coma and astigmatism nodal positions are moved into the real-FOV by selecting and optimizing the Zernike terms pointedly, which has balanced the off-axis asymmetric aberration. The results show that the modulation transfer function (MTF) is close to diffraction limit, and the distortion throughout full-FOV is less than 0.25%. At last, a computer-generated hologram (CGH) for freeform surface testing is designed. The CGH design error RMS is lower than λ/1000 at 632.8 nm, which meets the requirements for measurement.
The efficient manufacturing technologies greatly accelerate the development and production process. Optical components have higher precision requirements than mechanical parts. This provides great challenge for rapid manufacturing. Metallic optical system is featured high resolution, wide spectral range, light weight, compact design, low cost and short manufacturing period. Reflective mirrors and supporting structures can be made from the same material to improve athermal performance of the system. Common materials for metal mirrors in optical applications include aluminum, copper, beryllium, aluminum beryllium alloy and so on. Their physical characteristics and relative advantages are presented. Most kinds of metals have good machinability and can be manufactured by many kinds of producing methods. This makes metallic optical system saving 30%~60% cost and time than others. The manufacturing process of metal mirror is different due to its working spectral. The metal mirror can be directly manufactured by single point diamond turning. This is an outstanding technique in point of ultra-precision as well as economical manufacture of mirrors. The roughness values and form accuracy of optical surfaces after diamond turning can satisfy the quality level for applications in the near infrared and infrared range. And for visible light spectral the turning structures must be removed with a smoothing procedure in order to minimize the scatter losses. Some smoothing methods to obtain visible quality metal mirrors are given in this paper. Some new manufacturing technology, such as 3D printing, can be used for metallic optical system and several promising techniques are presented.
A large-aperture, wide field-of-view, three-mirror optical system for a space borne astronomical survey telescope has been designed. The unobstructed optical system with a circular pupil has a 2 meter aperture, 1.7 deg2 FOV, and provides remarkably good imagery. Freeform surfaces and decentered/tilt surfaces are introduced to the system, which have the advantage of balancing the unsymmetrical aberrations, especially for the wide-field off-axis optical systems. The evaluation of image quality is that the value of the RMS wavefront error is 21 nm, the ellipticity is less than 6.5% in the main imaging area (about 1.1 deg2), and the maximum radius of Encircled Energy 80% (EE80) is less than 0.09arcsec.