Abstract

This paper describes the behavior of a cat’s eye retroreflector, which is incorporated in a novel way in a double-pass homodyne polarization interferometer. The amount of mirror tilt immunity a cat’s eye provides is calculated within the paraxial approximation using 4×4 ABCD matrices. It is found that there is a position of the target mirror in which the tilt immunity is at a maximum. A real cat’s eye, which is affected by aberrations, is optimized and examined using Zemax software for optical design. The maximum amount of mirror tilt immunity is numerically calculated and written in terms of defocus and spherical aberration. Finally, for the purposes of comparison, the amplitude of the Lissajous pattern as the target mirror tilts is calculated for both an interferometer with an integrated cat’s eye and an interferometer with a cube corner.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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