Experimental investigation in nodal aberration theory (NAT): separation of astigmatic figure error from misalignments in a Cassegrain telescope

Karci O., Yesiltepe M., Arpa E., Wu Y., Ekinci M., Rolland J. P.

OPTICS EXPRESS, vol.30, no.7, pp.11150-11164, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1364/oe.453788
  • Journal Name: OPTICS EXPRESS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, Compendex, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.11150-11164


We present simulations and experimental validations for separating astigmatic figure error from misalignments in Nodal Aberration Theory (NAT) with a high-precision Cassegrain telescope. Both the primary mirror figure error and the secondary mirror misalignments induce binodal astigmatism for the telescope systems. The separation of these two aberration factors plays a crucial role in the telescope alignment process. In this study, the figure error of the aspheric primary mirror of the Cassegrain telescope induced by the mirror mounts was measured interferometrically utilizing a computer-generated hologram (CGH). According to the primary mirror figure error, the astigmatic node locations in the image plane were simulated using real raytracing. The center of the nodes was located on the field center, and the nodes were placed symmetrically with respect to the field center in the image plane. The telescope's alignment was pertbrmed using the simulation results, and the node locations were measured on a grid of field points interferometrically. Thereafter, secondary mirror misalignments around the coma-free pivot point were introduced into the optical system, and the node's center was shifted from the field center in the image plane as predicted by NAT The simulations and interferometric field measurements were performed and compared on a grid of field points for the misaligned state in the presence of primary mirror figure error. The experimental results confirm the predictions from NAT. Statistical analysis was also performed to confirm the accuracy and stability of the measurements. (C) 2022 Optica Publishing Group under the terms of the Optica Open Access Publishing Agreement