Measuring flats in the horizontal posture with interferometers is analyzed in detail, taking into account the sag produced by gravity. A mathematical expression of the bending is provided for a plate supported at three unevenly spaced locations along the edge. It is shown that the azimuthal terms of the deformation can be recovered from a three-flat measuring procedure, while the pure radial terms can only be estimated. The effectiveness of the iterative algorithm for data processing is also demonstrated. Experimental comparison on a set of three flats in horizontal and upright posture is provided.
© 2008 Optical Society of America
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