Abstract

A new technique for external measurement of dihedral right angles is presented. An expanded, collimated, and linearly polarized He–Ne laser beam (632.8nm) from a Fizeau interferometer is launched into a cyclic path optical configuration (CPOC) in which the counterpropagating p and s polarization components traverse the same optical path in opposite directions. A right-angled component (RAC), with its plane surfaces forming the right angle, is set to externally reflect the counterpropagating p and s components of the CPOC in nearly the same directions but with a lateral separation. In a plane normal to the right-angle edge of the RAC, the laterally separated collimated beams have angular separation, which is equal to twice the error in the dihedral right angle. Another CPOC setup is used to recombine the beams by reducing the lateral shear to zero. Error in right angle is calculated from the spacing of the resulting two-beam Fizeau fringes. Methods for overcoming the restriction of measurement accuracy due to beam aperture limitation and the effects of the positional tilt of the RAC have been discussed. Results of validation experiments are presented.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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