Abstract

A useful alignment method is presented that exploits the closely spaced concentric fringes that form in the longitudinal spherical aberration region of positive spherical lenses imaging a point source. To align one or more elements to a common axis, spherical lenses are attached precisely to the elements and the resulting diffraction rings are made to coincide. We modeled the spherical aberration of the lenses by calculating the diffraction patterns of converging plane waves passing through concentric narrow annular apertures. The validity of the model is supported by experimental data and is determined to be accurate for a prototype penumbral imaging alignment system developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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