Abstract

During construction of a Shack–Hartmann wave-front sensor it is critical that the spacing between the lens array and the detector array be equal to the lens array focal length to obtain accurate and precise measurements of a wave front. This separation is often difficult to determine with large f/# lenses, because their focal spot diameter does not change substantially for small displacements on either side of the focal plane. We describe a method with an array of off-axis lens segments for determining the location of the focal plane. Because the lenses are off axis, changes in the distance from the optic to the detector array result in transverse focal spot position variations as a function of their separation from the lenses. By analyzing the focal spot pattern on a CCD, we achieved 12-µm rms error in the axial position measurement while moving a 4-mm-focal-length optic over 1 mm.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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