Abstract

We present the problem of generating a computer simulation for optical interferometers. Of the several methods in use to simulate optical systems, none seems adequate to describe the image formed by interference between beams encountering a real system of lenses, mirrors, and gratings. We have developed a ray-tracing software package that can be applied to complex systems and used to generate realistic interference patterns, even from extended sources, without simplifying assumptions. We present results of a simulated nonscanning interferometer with coherent summation at a discrete-element detector. No coherence theory is added a priori; instead, the major results are shown to be verified numerically.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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