New methods for calibrating systematic errors in interferometric measurements

S. O'Donohue*, G. Devries, P. Murphy, G. Forbes, P. Dumas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Interferometers are often used to measure optical surfaces and systems. The accuracy of such measurements is often limited by the ability to calibrate systematic errors such as reference wave and image distortion. Standard techniques for calibrating reference wave include the two-sphere and random-ball test. QED Technologies® (QED) recently introduced a Subaperture Stitching Interferometer (SSI®) that has the integrated ability to perform reference wave calibration. By measuring an optical surface in multiple locations, the stitching algorithm has the ability to compensate for reference wave and imaging distortion. Each of the three reference wave calibration methods has its own limitations that ultimately affect the accuracy of the measurement. The merits of each technique for reference wave calibration are reviewed and analyzed. By using the SSI-computed estimate and the random-ball test in tandem, a composite method for calibrating reference wave error is shown to combine the benefits of both individual techniques. The stitching process also calibrates for distortion, and plots are shown for different transmission optics. Measurements with and without distortion compensation are shown, and the residual difference is compared to theoretical predictions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58690T
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


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