Abstract

The “plate-diagram” method of quantifying and manipulating the Seidel aberrations of an optical system has been used to develop a procedure that has successfully determined the complete solution set of three-mirror anastigmats in which two surfaces are left strictly spherical. The procedure also readily identified solutions in which the Petzval sum is zero, and four distinct families of flat-field three-mirror anastigmats with two mirrors strictly spherical have thus been found. The success of the method is strong support for the argument that algebraic approaches to optical design can yield results distinctly superior to currently favored optimization-based design methods, at least for some types of optical systems.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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