Abstract

The most challenging problem in the stitching test of large flats with a small-aperture interferometer is the accumulation effect of the second-order error. As it is approximately enlarged by the square of the ratio of full aperture size to subaperture size, a very small amount of the second-order error in the reference surface of a transmission flat can be accumulated and gets far from negligible when the subaperture is far smaller than the full aperture. We present here a solution by using two orthogonally arranged wavefront interferometers. One is responsible for a subaperture test and the other for the simultaneous measurement of relative tilts. Because the accumulation effect originates from the lateral shift of the second-order error, only the tilt along the subaperture scanning direction needs to be measured accurately. It is no longer determined by stitching optimization instead to avoid the error accumulation. Piston and tilt perpendicular to the scanning direction are still determined by stitching optimization. The method is experimentally verified and compared to the stitching test with the reference surface error calibrated out, both referenced to the full aperture test result obtained with a 24-inch interferometer.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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