We have developed a novel laser ray-tracing method to measure aberrations in optical systems. It consists of delivering narrow laser pencils (by a laser scanner), recording the spots that are formed on the image plane (with a CCD camera), and computing the position of each centroid. This approach could be considered an experimental (approximate) implementation of standard numerical ray tracing. Several tests and experiments, including a direct comparison with a Hartmann–Shack wave-front sensor, provided highly satisfactory results that confirmed the validity of the method and revealed potential advantages.
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