Abstract

<p>In this study, a procedure based upon vector analysis methods is outlined for the tracing of optical rays through triple-mirror and tetrahedral prism retrodirective reflectors. This procedure is utilized to determine the light deviation errors of such reflectors in terms of the errors in the three dihedral angles between the reflecting surfaces. It is shown that if the dihedral angles of a given reflector are in error by a tolerance amount ±θ, the resulting deviation errors of that reflector will not exceed 3.26θ for a triple mirror or 3.26 Nθ for a tetrahedral prism of refractive index <i>N</i>.</p><p>Experimental verifications of the theoretical relationships developed in this study are described. The procedures which are used in this verification are applicable to "in-process" and final inspection operations during the manufacture of prismatic retrodirective reflectors of moderate precision.</p>

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