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English Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Armenian Azerbaijani Basque Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Chinese (Simplified) Croatian Czech Danish Dutch Filipino Finnish French German Greek Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Spanish Swahili Swedish Thai Turkish Ukrainian Urdu Vietnamese

Point Source Microscope

PSM Point Source Microscope for Optical Alignment

EASY SYSTEM ALIGNMENT

EASY SYSTEM ALIGNMENT

Optical alignment means positioning optically significant features like centers of curvatures and foci precisely where the optical design specifies.
The PSM enables this process by detecting and locating these optical features on the micrometer level and then relating them to mechanical fixtures, datums and features such as steel balls.
The PSM bridges the gap between optically significant features that cannot be mechanically probed and mechanical hardware such as bores, seats and mounts that can be located by conventional mechanical means.

 

ASPHERE ALIGNMENT

ASPHERE ALIGNMENT

The PSM is also valuable for aligning aspheres and off-axis aspheres by using the aberrations aspheres produce when they are misaligned.
The PSM sees the reflected or transmitted Star image produced by the optical element or system in real time so there is optimum visual feedback as adjustments in alignment are made.
Since the PSM is sensitive to wavefront errors of as little as 8th wave rapid adjustment is made to near perfect alignment as witnessed by a symmetric image viewed going through focus.

 

OTHER OPTICAL METROLOGY USES

OTHER OPTICAL METROLOGY USES

Picture of PSM aligning an off-axis parabola to a fiber feed using a plane mirror

In addition to its use for alignment, the PSM is useful for incoming inspection for radius of curvature, focal length, figure errors larger than 8th wave and centering errors.

Used as an autocollimator by removing the objective lens, the wedge in windows and parallelism of prism faces can be measured with 1 arc second precision.
The small beam size makes it particularly useful for small prisms.

 

A COMPLETE, SELF-CONTAINED, PORTABLE METROLOGY SYSTEM

The PSM comes as a complete system ready to use as soon as the computer boots. The PSMAlign, LabView based, software is easy to use and the source code is available.
The centroid data is available for external feedback to other systems or the centroid data can be stored for later use.

Full field video microscope images and point source Star images can be saved in png format for later analysis and use.

 

Think of the PSM as a Swiss Army Knife for your Lab

Think of the PSM as a Swiss Army Knife for your Lab

Nearly as precise as an interferometer, yet far more flexible and easy to use due to its small size, light weight and powerful software.

Scroll down to bottom for a bibliography of archival PSM papers.

 

FAQ: Can the wavelength of the laser diode source in the PSM be changed from the standard wavelength of 635 nm?

Yes, the PSM comes with an internal source whose wavelength is 635 nm which is fiber coupled into the PSM via a FC/APC fiber connector. The internal source fiber can be unscrewed and stored in an adjacent storage fiber connector. An external source is then coupled into the now vacant active FC fiber connector. The external source fiber to the PSM must be terminated with a FC/APC connector for the PSM to work properly.

The beamsplitters in the PSM have broadband coatings so any source from 350 to 700 nm can be used and even beyond with some loss in sensitivity. The Thorlabs S1FCxxx fiber-coupled lasers sources are well suited as are similar sources from qphotonics that provide a wider range of wavelengths. Incandescent sources can be coupled in as well as long as the termination into the PSM is a FC/APC connector. The losses will be large getting the white light in but the PSM is quite sensitive to low light levels.

FAQ: How is the spatial scale calibrated in the PSM?

The spatial scale in the PSM is controlled using the “Calibration Factor” on the Cal Tab. For a 10x objective the Calibration Factor should be about 1.0 and then the units displayed on the right hand side of the PSM2 GUI under Spot will be correct in μm. For a 4x objective the Calibration Factor should be about 2.5.

Many things influence the precise PSM calibration including the pixel size in the camera and the make of the objective lens. For precise calibration of the spatial scale it is best to use a sample of known line width such as a stage micrometer or Ronchi ruling and measure the width using as much of the field of view of the objective as possible.

Use the arrow cursor to click on one edge of the line and then click on the other edge. Green crosses will appear with each click. On the Threshold tab the coordinates of the green crosses are listed. If the distance between the two crosses at either edge of the known line is not correct, change the Calibration Factor by the ratio of the measured value to the known value and repeat the measurement. One or two times making the measurement should get to 1% of the true spatial scale. Note that the coordinates of each cross is with respect to the reference cross.

Once this is done the scales is correct for all readings on the GUI unless the objective or camera are changed in which case the calibration must be repeated. The units on the scale bar and the crosshairs are also controlled by this calibration and will be correct once calibrated. Notice the scale bar at the bottom of the Cal tab. It can be made any length, have any number of divisions and be placed anywhere on the video screen.

 


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PSM Users

Point Source Microscope PSM Users include:
FLIR, Boeing, Goodrich, Raytheon, Melles Griot, ASML, L3, Kreischer Optics, NKFUST, Penn and Bro.

Bibliography: Archival papers describing a variety of applications of the PSM

“A simple tool for alignment and wavefront testing”, W. P. Kuhn, Opt-E, Proc SPIE 66760F, doi: 10.1117/12.735477. Paper discusses methods of quantifying wavefront error using a PSM., Proc. SPIE 883804, doi:10.1117/12.2024599. Paper discusses the use of the MFT to take surface topography maps of window and lens surfaces.
“A simple tool for alignment and wavefront testing: experimental results”, W. P. Kuhn, Opt-E, Proc. SPIE 70680C, doi: 10.1117/12.798224. Paper shows experimental results of using a PSM and phase retrieval methods to measure wavefront error.
“A toolbox of metrology-based techniques for optical system alignment”, P. Coulter, NASA GSFC, Proc. SPIE 9951-7, Paper discusses many familiar optical alignment tools including the PSM.
“Alignment and use of the optical test for the 8.4 m off-axis primary mirrors of the Giant Magellan Telescope”, S. West, et. al., Steward Observatory and College of Optical Sciences, Univ. of Arizona, Proc. SPIE 77390N, doi:10.1117/12.857251. Paper shows several uses of the PSM in the alignment of the test optics for the GMT mirror metrology including a PSM permanently built into the test optics.
“Alignment of four-mirror wide field corrector for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope”, C. J. Oh, et. al., College of Optical Sciences, Univ. of Arizona, Proc. SPIE 884403, doi:10.1117/12.2023427. Papers shows the use of the PSM on the ram of a CMM for precise positioning of fiducial CGHs in alignment fixtures.
“Aspheric and freeform surfaces metrology with software configurable optical test system: a computerized reverse Hartmann test”, P. Su, et. al, College of Optical Sciences, Univ. of Arizona, Opt. Eng. 53, 031305, DOI: 10.1117/1.OE.53.3.031305. Paper shows the use of the PSM to precisely align the components of reflection deflectometry tests in conjunction with a CMM and a laser tracker.
“Centration of optical elements”, E. Milby & J. Burge, College of Optical Sciences, Univ. of Arizona, Proc. SPIE 812616, doi:10.1117/12.894126. Paper describes using the PSM in both the autostigmatic and autocollimation modes for centering lens elements on a rotary table.
“Delivery, Installation, On-sky Verification of the Hobby Eberly Telescope Wide Field Corrector”, H. Lee, et. al., Univ. of Texas at Austin, Proc. SPIE 990646, doi:10.1117/12.2231224. Paper shows of the use of PSM to align the mirrors within the Wide Field Corrector.
“Design and analysis of an alignment procedure using CGHs”, L. Coyle, M. Dubin & J. Burge, College of Optical Sciences, Univ. of Arizona, Opt. Eng. 52, 084104, doi: 10.1117/1.OE.52.8.084104. Paper shows use of the PSM in autostigmatic mode to find points in space produced by a CGH in reflection.
“Design and development of the fibre cable and fore optics of the HERMES Spectrograph for the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT)”, J. Brzeski, S. Case & L. Gers, Australian Astronomical Observatory, Proc. SPIE 812504, doi:10.1117/12.896389. Paper describes using the PSM to precisely position fibers that form the curved slit in the spectrograph.
“Design and implementation of a new time-delayed source and alignment considerations for a tangent ogive interferometer”, H. Durazo, et. al., Breault Research Organization, Proc. SPIE 730215, doi: 10.1117/12.818385. Paper shows the use of the PSM to align a multi-armed interferometer to a common point in space.
“Design of head-mounted binoculars utilizing freeform surfaces”, R. R. Boye, et. al., Sandia National Laboratory, Opt. Eng. 53, 031310, doi:10.1117/1.OE.53.3.031310. Paper describes using the PSM to help align the free form optics in the binoculars.
“Design of Wearable Binoculars with On-Demand Zoom”, R. R. Boye, et. al., Sandia National Laboratory, Proc. SPIE 88410H, doi: 10.1117/12.2024619 . Paper describes using the PSM to help align the free form optics in the binoculars.
“Development of surface metrology for the GMT primary mirror”, J. Burge, et. al., College of Optical Sciences, Univ. of Arizona, Proc. SPIE 701814, doi: 10.1117/12.790082. Paper describes using the PSM to alignment the null CGH in the null optics for the GMT primary mirror.
“Dynamic distortion calibration using a Diffracting Pupil”, E. Bendek, et. al., Steward Observatory, Univ. of Arizona and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Proc SPIE 81510U, doi: 10.1117/12.893130. Paper describes the use of the PSM to align an off-axis parabola to a pinhole to give diffraction limited performance.
“Fabrication and testing of the first 8.4 m off-axis segment for the Giant Magellan Telescope”, H. Martin, et. al., Steward Observatory, Univ. of Arizona, Proc. SPIE 77390A, doi: 10.1117/12.857494. Paper shows how the PSM was an integral part of the alignment of the test optics for the GMT metrology.
“Final acceptance testing of the LSST monolithic primary/tertiary mirror”, M. Tuell, et. al., Steward Observatory, Univ. of Arizona and National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Proc. SPIE 91510W, doi:10.1117/12.2057076. Paper discusses the use of the PSM to measure the alignment of the optical axes of the two surfaces of the LSST primary/tertiary mirror.
“First light results from the High Efficiency and Resolution Multi-Element Spectrograph for Anglo-Australian Telescope”, A. Sheinis, et. al., Australian Astronomical Observatory, et. al., JATIS 035002, doi: 10.1117/1.JATIS.1.3.035002. Paper discusses the use of the PSM to bring the various arms of the spectrograph into alignment with each other.
“GMTIFS: The Adaptive Optics Beam Steering Mirror for the GMT Integral-Field Spectrograph”, J. Davies, et. al., Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics, The Australian National University, Proc. SPIE 991217, doi:10.1117/12.2231560. Paper describes the use of the PSM to produce a pseudo guide star on which to align the spectrometer optics.
“Hermes – the engineering challenges”, J. Brzeski, S. Case & L. Gers, Australian Astronomical Observatory, Proc SPIE 84464N, doi:10.1117/12.924635. Paper discusses the centering of lenses within a barrel using the PSM and a rotary table. It also discusses using the PSM to locate the assembled lens within a fixture using a CMM.
“High Numerical Aperture Multimode Fibers for Prime Focus Use”, K. Zhang, J. Zheng & W. Sanders, Australian Astronomical Observatory and Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology, Proc SPIE 99125J, doi: 10.1117/12.2232131. Paper discusses using the PSM to center a diffraction limited spot in the center of a multimode optical fiber to less than one micrometer.
“High-accuracy aspheric x-ray mirror metrology using Software Configurable Optical Test System/deflectometry”, R. Huang, et. al., College of Optical Sciences, Univ. of Arizona and Brookhaven National Laboratory, Opt. Eng. 54, 084103, doi: 10.1117/1.OE.54.8.084103. Paper discusses use of the PSM to measure the locations of the camera and screen in a reflection deflectometry test setup.
“KOALA, a wide-field 1000 element integral-field unit for the Anglo-Australian Telescope: assembly and commissioning”, R. Zhelem, et. al., Australian Astronomical Observatory and Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Mount Stromlo Observatory, Proc SPIE 91473K, doi: 10.1117/12.2055588. Paper discusses using the PSM to align optical fibers to a micro-lens array.
“Low uncertainty alignment procedure using computer generated holograms”, L. Coyle, M. Dubin & J. Burge, College of Optical Sciences, Univ. of Arizona, Proc SPIE 81310B, doi: 10.1117/12.895237. Paper describes using the PSM to align two computer generated holograms to each other in transmission.
“Optical alignment with computer generated holograms”, J. Burge, R. Zehnder, C. Zhao, College of Optical Sciences, Univ. of Arizona, Proc SPIE 66760C, doi: 10.1117/12.735853. Paper discusses using computer generated holograms to create points in space for alignment purposes that can be viewed in reflection by a PSM or interferometer.
“Optomechanical design and tolerance of a microscope objective at 121.6 nm”, D. Keyes, College of Optical Sciences, Univ. of Arizona, Proc SPIE 957506, doi: 10.1117/12.2188803. Paper discusses using a PSM and rotary table to align the mirrors in a reflecting microscope objective.
“Progress in manufacturing the first 8.4 m off-axis segment for the GMT”, H. Martin, et. al., Steward Observatory and College of Optical Sciences, Univ. of Arizona, Proc SPIE 70180C, doi: 10.1117/12.789805. Paper shows how the PSM is an integral part the alignment of the optics used to test the GMT segments.
“Progress on the GMT”, M. Johns, Carnegie Observatories, Proc SPIE 701213, doi: 10.1117/12.788063. Paper points out the use of the PSM in the alignment of the test optics for the GMT mirrors.
“Research on the Measurement Technology of Effective Arm Length of Swing Arm Profilometer”, L. Chen, et. al., Institute of Optics and Electronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu, Proc SPIE 92800P, doi: 10.1117/12.2070673. Paper discusses using the PSM to measure the relationship of the swing arm probe tip to references on a coordinate measuring machine.
“Research on the relationship of the probe system for the swing arm profilometer based on the point source microscope”, M. Gao, et. al., Institute of Optics and Electronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu, Proc SPIE 96230N, doi: 10.1117/12.2186280. Paper discusses using the PSM to measure the relationship of the swing arm probe tip to laser tracker SMRs.
“Scanning pentaprism test for the GMT 8.4 m off-axis segments”, R. Allen, et. al, Steward Observatory and College of Optical Sciences, Univ. of Arizona, Proc SPIE 773911, doi: 10.1117/12.857901. Paper discusses using the PSM to measure the position of the camera detector array chip to SMRs mounted on the outside of the camera.
“SITELLE optical design, assembly, and testing”, D. Brousseau, et. al., Département de physique, génie physique et optique (COPL), Université Laval, Département de physique (CRAQ), Université de Montréal, Montréal, Proc SPIE 91473Z, doi: 10.1117/12.2055214. Paper discusses the use of the PSM to align the two halves of a Fourier Transform Spectrometer and to measure the point spread function of the instrument.
“Swing arm optical coordinate-measuring machine: high precision measuring ground aspheric surfaces using a laser triangulation probe:, Y. Wang, et. al., College of Optical Sciences, Univ. of Arizona, Opt. Eng. 51, 073603, doi: 10.1117/1.OE.51.7.073603. Paper discusses the use of the PSM to relate the focus of the triangulation sensor to laser tracker SMRs mounted to the sensor.
“Swing-arm optical coordinate measuring machine: modal estimation of systematic errors from dual probe shear measurements”, P. Su, et. al., College of Optical Sciences, Univ. of Arizona, Opt. Eng. 51, 043604, doi: 10.1117/1.OE.51.4.043604. Paper discusses the use of the PSM to measure the position of the fiber optic probe tips to laser tracker SMRs mounted on the swing arm.
“The deterministic optical alignment of the HERMES spectrograph”, L. Gers & N Staszak, Australian Astronomical Observatory, Proc SPIE 915113, doi:10.1117/12.2055574. Paper discusses using the PSM to define the optical axis of the spectrometer and to align the various arms of the spectrometer to a common axis.
“Use of a commercial laser tracker for optical alignment”, J. Burge, et. al., College of Optical Sciences, Univ. of Arizona, Proc SPIE 66760F, doi: 10.1117/12.736705. Paper discusses the use of the PSM to aid in locating nests for laser tracker SMRs relative to other features on optics or fixtures that need to be aligned.
“Using the Point Source Microscope (PSM) to find conjugates of parabolic and elliptical off-axis mirrors”, R. Parks & M. Borden, College of Optical Sciences, Univ. of Arizona, Proc. SPIE 81310A, doi:10.1117/12.894333. Paper discusses the use of the PSM to locate the tangential and sagittal centers of curvature of off-axis conic mirrors and the axes of rotation of toroidal mirrors and measure their radii of curvature.

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