The lens is one of the most commonly used optical elements. Yet it is sometimes difficult to make accurate effective focal length and pupil position measurements, especially for long focal length lenses. Many measurement methods rely on a mechanical measurement to determine the back focal length, or may require careful operator discrimination in determining the best focus position. Aberrations may confuse an automatic focal length measurement system. However, an accurate determination of the optical properties of a lens is often critical for building an accurate system model. We have developed a method for measurement of the focal length, pupil plane and collimation positions of positive lenses using a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor. The SHWFS uses a micro-optic lens array to separate the incoming wavefront into a pattern of focal spots. The position of these focal spots is related to the local wavefront slope. Wavefront reconstruction allows the complete incident wavefront to be retrieved. A Zernike decomposition reconstructor is used to separate the effects of lens focal power from other aberrations. The lens under test is illuminated by a point source on a computer-controlled stage. The transmitted wavefront was recorded by the SHWFS while the source was translated over a few mm range. By analyzing the Zernike coefficient associated with defocus, we were able to extract the focal length, pupil plane and collimation positions using a least squares fitting procedure. This procedure was tested for a variety of lenses of varying focal lengths, from 10 to 1000 mm focal length, and showed excellent repeatability and accuracy. These measurements were compared to knife-edge, manufacturer’s specification, and ray-tracing analysis for verification testing.
The design of a wavefront sensor may be determined by the lenslet array and camera selection. There are numerous different applications for these sensors, requiring widely differing dynamic range and accuracy. Performance metrics are needed to evaluate candidate designs and to compare results. We have developed a standard methodology for measuring the repeatability, accuracy and dynamic range of different wavefront sensor designs, and have experimentally applied these metrics to a number of different sensors.
Human vision correction optics must be produced in quantity to be economical. At the same time every human eye is unique and requires a custom corrective solution. For this reason the vision industries need fast, versatile and accurate methodologies for characterizing optics for production and research. Current methods for measuring these optics generally yield a cubic spline taken from less than 10 points across the surface of the lens. As corrective optics have grown in complexity this has become inadequate. The Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor is a device that measures phase and irradiance of light in a single snapshot using geometric properties of light. Advantages of the Shack-Hartmann sensor include small size, ruggedness, accuracy, and vibration insensitivity. This paper discusses a methodology for designing instruments based on Shack-Hartmann sensors. The method is then applied to the development of an instrument for accurate measurement of transmissive optics such as gradient bifocal spectacle lenses, progressive addition bifocal lenses, intrarocular devices, contact lenses, and human corneal tissue. In addition, this instrument may be configured to provide hundreds of points across the surface of the lens giving improved spatial resolution. Methods are explored for extending the dynamic range and accuracy to meet the expanding needs of the ophthalmic and optometric industries. Data is presented demonstrating the accuracy and repeatability of this technique for the target optics.
The most critical element in a ocular Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor is the micro-optic lenslet array. This array largely determines the accuracy of the wavefront measurement and the dynamic range of the measurements. This paper discusses the details of how the density of the lenslet array affects the accuracy of the wavefront measurement. We briefly discuss wavefront reconstruction, which is the mathematical process that takes the output from the lenslet array and reconstructs the input wavefront. We compare the two primary methods of reconstruction, the zonal fit and the modal fit. We also show how a denser array can be designed to have a better dynamic range.
Coatings designed for use in the Airborne Laser (ABL) have stringent requirements for reflectance over several spectral bands in addition to extremely low absorption and high damage threshold at the 1315nm output of the chemical oxygen iodine laser. The complexity of these coatings leads to difficulty in design and fabrication particularly on curved optical surfaces with large apertures. A series of witness samples were fabricated to evaluate the state-of-the-art for this type of coating and provide appropriate design criteria for the ABL optical train. Damage testing at 1315nm under CW conditions was performed at the RADICL laser facility at Kirtland AFB. Limited optical characterization before and after the test was performed at the OCEL facility to evaluate the quality of the samples and to identify damage. The results of these test and characterization will be discussed.
The thermal response of a coated optical surface is an important consideration in the design of any high average power system. Finite element temperature distribution were calculated for both coating witness samples and calorimetry wafers and were compared to actual measured data under tightly controlled conditions. Coatings for ABL were deposited on various substrates including fused silica, ULE, Zerodur, and silicon. The witness samples were irradiate data high power levels at 1.315micrometers to evaluate laser damage thresholds and study absorption levels. Excellent agreement was obtained between temperature predictions and measured thermal response curves. When measured absorption values were not available, the code was used to predict coating absorption based on the measured temperature rise on the back surface. Using the finite element model, the damaging temperature rise can be predicted for a coating with known absorption based on run time, flux, and substrate material.
With the advent of the Airborne Laser program, the emphasis of chemical oxygen-iodine laser (COIL) research has shifted toward improving the overall efficiency. A key component of COIL is the singlet-oxygen generator (SOG). To asses the efficiency of the SOG an accurate method of determining the yield of O2((alpha) 1(Delta) g),[O2((alpha) 1(Delta) g)]/[O2(total)] where [O2(total)]equals[O2((alpha) 1(Delta) g)]+[O2(X3(Sigma) g-)], has been developed. Absorption measurements of ground-state oxygen utilizing the magnetic-dipole transition, O2(X3(Sigma) g-) at 763 nm, have been obtained using a diode laser in conjunction with a multiple-pass Herriot-cell on a 10 kW class supersonic SOIL (RADICL). When RADICL is configured with a 0.35' throat, 15' diskpack, and a medium volume transition duct, with a diluent ratio (He:O2) of 3:1, the yield of O2((alpha) 1(Delta) g) in the diagnostic duct is 0.41 +/- 0.02.
Iodine dissociation has been measured in the supersonic cavity of a chemical oxygen-iodine laser during lasing under a wide variety of flow conditions. By varying flow conditions, measured dissociations from 0 to 100 percent were observed. A simple model of the initial step in the dissociation process was developed that adequately rationalizes the measurements.