A new type of wave-front analysis method for the collimation testing of laser beams is proposed. A concept of wave-front height is defined, and, on this basis, the wave-front analysis method of circular aperture sampling is introduced. The wave-front height of the tested noncollimated wave can be estimated from the distance between two identical fiducial diffraction planes of the sampled wave, and then the divergence is determined. The design is detailed, and the experiment is demonstrated. The principle and experiment results of the method are presented. Owing to the simplicity of the method and its low cost, it is a promising method for checking the collimation of a laser beam with a large divergence.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
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