Abstract

Traceable radius of curvature measurements are critical for precision optics manufacturing. An optical bench measurement is repeatable and is the preferred method for low-uncertainty applications. With an optical bench, the displacement of the optic is measured as it is moved between the cat’s eye and the confocal positions, each identified using a figure measuring interferometer. The translated distance is nominally the radius of curvature; however, errors in the motion of the stage add a bias to the measurement, even if the error motions are zero on average. Estimating the bias and resulting measurement uncertainty is challenging. We have developed a new mathematical definition of the radius measurand that intrinsically corrects for error motion biases and also provides a means of representing other terms such as figure error correction, wave-front aberration biases, displacement gauge calibration and their uncertainties. With this formalism, it is no long necessary to design a high-quality radius bench to carry out a precision measurement; rather a lower quality is adequate, provided that error motions are repeatable and characterized and error motion measurement uncertainties are estimated.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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