We put forward a plan of improving the oblique-incidence optical interferometric system applied in the measurement of tooth flanks of an involute spur gear in order to expand its capability to measure an involute helical gear. On the basis of the features of an involute helical tooth flank, we discuss how to realize the parallelism between the optical axis of the object arm of the optical system and the straight lines constructing the involute helical tooth flank. This parallelism helps the optical system produce an interference fringe pattern as clear as the one of an involute spur gear [Appl. Opt. 49, 6409 (2010).]. A numerical simulation is then performed to examine the correctness of the improvement. During simulating, we unify the equation of difference tooth flanks by means of importing two parameters in relation to the left or right side of a tooth flank and the helical direction of teeth, respectively. Finally, the actual experiment is fulfilled through the real optical system built on an optical table. The simulation and experiment results verify the correctness and feasibility of the proposed improvement.
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