The Autostigmatic Microscope and Its Uses
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PDF10.13.2016 OSA Webinar Slides.pdf

Join the OSA Systems and Instrumentation Technical Group and Mr. Robert Parks for this webinar discussing the evolution of the classical autostigmatic microscope (ASM) into an all-purpose optical alignment tool whose use has been described in over 60 optical engineering papers that illustrate real-world systems applications. The evolution that led to the current instrument, the Point Source Microscope or PSM, is due to a convergence in technologies of solid state light sources, digital cameras, modest cost computers and software to operate these devices to create a small, lightweight and ergonomic optical test instrument with many functions.


After a brief introduction to the instrument and its optical layout, we describe its principle use, the measurement of radius of curvature of optical surfaces and test plates. Once its use for this function is well understood it will become obvious how to use an ASM for many alignment situations, particularly for optical systems that are spread out in space such as spectrometers, and systems that are folded into three-dimensional configurations. We also discuss a new way of thinking about alignment; not about where rays go through the system, but where optical surfaces and their centers of curvature are meant to go by design.


After discussing these paraxial methods of alignment, we talk about using aberrations for alignment of aspheric optics including off-axis parabolas and toroidal surfaces. We then turn to useful tips for planning alignment fixtures and using the ASM in conjunction with a coordinate measuring machine. We discuss the lens design of alignment set ups including the use of a zero index glass, and using this concept to find the surfaces and centers of curvature looking along the axis of a system. Finally we discuss the use of the ASM as an autocollimator and with computer generated holograms as a way of simulating centers of curvature in a three-dimensional volume.


What You Will Learn in the Webinar:

  • Attendees will learn the fundamentals of autostigmatic microscopes and how they are used to find the radius of curvature of optical surfaces. This background into fundamentals leads to discussing the use of the ASM in practical alignment situations.
  • Attendees will be presented with a variety of applications of the ASM to the alignment of optical systems, particularly applications that include aspheres and folded optics to give an appreciation for the capabilities of this technology.


Who Should Attend the Webinar:

  • Optical engineers and technicians who are responsible for assembling and aligning optical systems, particularly complex and high performance systems.
  • Opto-mechanical engineers who design the optical hardware into which optics are assembled so they appreciate that adding a few alignment datums in the hardware can speed assembly and improve the performance of the assembly.
  • All people involved with astronomical instruments as these engineers and scientists have been the quickest to appreciate what an ASM can do to aid in the assembly and alignment of these instruments.
Seminar Information
Seminar Date:
October 13, 2016