Digital wave-front measuring interferometry is a well-established technique but only few investigations of systematic error sources have been carried out so far. In this work three especially serious error sources are discussed in some detail: inaccuracies of the reference phase values needed for this type of evaluation technique; disturbances due to extraneous fringes; and spatially high frequency noise on the wave fronts caused by dust particles, inhomogeneities, etc. For the first two error sources formulas of the resulting phase deviation are derived and compensation possibilities discussed and experimentally verified. To study the occurrence of wave-front irregularities caused by dust particles a model has been developed and countermeasures derived which assure sufficient regularity of contour line plots. The repeatability of the present experimental setup was better than λ/200 within the 3σ limits.
© 1983 Optical Society of America
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