Tagged with: Optical alignment
ABSTRACT: Bessel beams have found use in the alignment of transmissive optics for some time. They are also used for the alignment of reflecting optics when used in the imaging mode, that is, when the wavefront is near spherical. However, there are cases where it would be useful to use the Bessel beam for alignment of far-off axis aspheres to order to get the asphere aligned close enough to its final position that light will go through the system in the imaging mode. In another mode, the Bessel beam is used to determine the normal to a free form surface.
ABSTRACT: This paper defines optical alignment as placing optical conjugates and centers of curvature at the precise locations specified in the optical design. Auto-stigmatic microscopes (ASM) are the tools used to measure the offset between the optical conjugates and physical datums such as centers of balls and axes of cylinders in alignment fixtures and making precise alignment practical.
ABSTRACT: Bessel beams are useful for alignment because they create a small diameter, bright, straight line image in space perpendicular to the Axicon grating producing a beam that is an exact analog of a single ray in a ray tracing program. Bessel beams are produced by plane Axicon gratings whose pattern is chrome on glass, evenly spaced, concentric circles that are illuminated by a point source of light on the grating axis. The grating produces a more nearly ideal Bessel beam than a cone shaped type Axicon. The plane grating also serves as a plane mirror in an alignment setup to define four degrees of freedom in space rather than the usual two a plane mirror does.
Most discussions of Bessel beams assume illumination with collimated light. We have found it advantageous to use a point source for illumination because it is easy to implement and less expensive using a single mode fiber as a source than a precision collimating lens the diameter of the Axicon. Besides, collimated illumination produces a Bessel beam of finite length in transmission while, in theory, a beam of infinite length is created using a point source.
With these assumptions about how Bessel beams are produced with plane gratings and details about the grating diameter and line spacing it is easy to calculate the useful length of the Bessel beam in reflection from the grating. Other practical matters are also discussed such as 4 degree of freedom lens centering with a test apparatus with no moving parts.