When an off-axis paraboloidal mirror focuses a parallel beam, the image is formed on one side of the optical axis. For a tilted beam focused by an off-axis paraboloidal mirror, the focus is no longer pointlike (not considering the diffraction effect); rather, it is a distorted spot. This is due to the inherent aberrations of the surface. In addition, there is a change in the focus position. We calculate by exact ray-trace equations the modified wave-front aberration and express it in power series. Our formulation uses the optical path variation along a defined principal ray that we relate to the parameters that describe the surface and the beam angle of incidence. We designate this ray as that reflected by the center of the entrance pupil and field of view. We employ the direction cosines of the principal ray to compute the wave-front aberration function of a beam reflected by an off-axis paraboloid.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
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