Abstract

Imaging systems with circular and annular pupils aberrated by primary aberrations are considered. Both classical and balanced (Zernike) aberrations are discussed. Closed-form solutions are derived for the Strehl ratio, except in the case of coma, for which the integral form is used. Numerical results are obtained and compared with Maré-chal’s formula for small aberrations. It is shown that, as long as the Strehl ratio is greater than 0.6, the Maréchal formula gives its value with an error of less than 10%. A discussion of the Rayleigh quarter-wave rule is given, and it is shown that it provides only a qualitative measure of aberration tolerance. Nonoptimally balanced aberrations are also considered, and it is shown that, unless the Strehl ratio is quite high, an optimally balanced aberration does not necessarily give a maximum Strehl ratio.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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