The effects of a plastic objective lens’s astigmatism on the push–pull tracking-error signal (TES) of an optical disk data storage system were investigated theoretically and experimentally. Astigmatism of plastic objective lenses arises commonly from the asymmetric deviation from their designed shape during the molding process. By carefully studying the aberration characteristics of the objective lens and including the astigmatism of the laser diode in the analysis, we can calculate the combined effects of astigmatism of these two components on the push–pull TES. It is found, from both the simulations and the experiments, that, by rotation of the objective lens about the optical axis, the peak-to-peak value of the push–pull TES varies with the lens’s rotation angle, and a change as great as 340% in its value was observed in a given optical pickup.
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