Measurement of the transmitted wavefront of domes and windows is a long-standing problem. One may use a large return sphere and measure the interference cavity without the dome present and again with the dome present. The difference between the two measurements is a double-pass measurement of the transmitted wavefront of the dome. Even so, the long coherence length of the source results in many extraneous fringe patterns. Windows may be tested by using a collimated source and return flat. A time-delayed source (TDS) having a short-coherence length is used to obtain a single interference pattern due only to interference of light reflected by the two surfaces of a dome or window. Standard phase shifting algorithms may be used with the TDS to measure the optical thickness of a dome or window without errors due to multiple reflections. Since most of the interferometer is common-path, environmental sensitivity is reduced and alignment is straightforward compared to typical interferometers. Finally, since there is no reference surface, stitching of sub-aperture measurements is simplified.
Keywords: Dome, window, time-delay, short coherence, phase-shift, stitching, multiple reflections, common path
Copyright 2007, Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). This paper will be published in the SPIE Proceeding Window and Dome Technologies and Materials X (April 2007) and is made available as an electronic preprint with permission of SPIE. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.
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