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Tagged with: Autocollimator

Measuring Wedge in a Window (ABSTRACT)

ABSTRACT: One of the easier measurements to make with the Point Source Microscope (PSM) is determining the wedge in a nominally plane, parallel window by removing the PSM microscope objective and using the PSM as an autocollimator to view the wedge between the surfaces.

Optical Alignment Using the Point Source Microscope (ABSTRACT)

ABSTRACT: A companion paper to "Alignment of an off-axis telescope and prism train" showing more detail of the mechanics involved in the telescope alignment and the multi-sensor instrument package.

Practical Alignment Using an Autostigmatic Microscope (ABSTRACT)

ABSTRACT: This paper defines optical alignment as placing optical conjugates and centers of curvature at the precise locations specified in the optical design. Auto-stigmatic microscopes (ASM) are the tools used to measure the offset between the optical conjugates and physical datums such as centers of balls and axes of cylinders in alignment fixtures and making precise alignment practical.

Reverse Engineering Lens Elements (ABSTRACT)

ABSTRACT:  Describes using an autostigmatic microscope (PSM) to find the two radii, thickness and index of a singlet lens by making 4 distance measurements similar to those used to measure the radius of curvature of a concave mirror, and then using the 4 distances to iteratively calculate the 4 paraxial lens parameters using an Excel spreadsheet and its Solver application.

The Autostigmatic Microscope (ABSTRACT)

ABSTRACT: This relatively recent (1983) paper by W. H. Steel of CSIRO is the only paper found in the archival literature to describe an autostigmatic microscope (ASM) and its most common use, the measurement of radii of curvature, in this case, the radii of contact lenses. The Point Source Microscope (PSM) is a modern version of this classical instrument.

Versatile Autostigmatic Microscope (ABSTRACT)

ABSTRACT: Use of the PSM to find wedge in hemispherical domes, to measure angles as an autocollimator, to check centration in molded optics and to check spindle runout.

What is a Point Source Microscope? (ABSTRACT)

ABSTRACT: As opposed to a bright field, reflecting microscope that produces an image of a microscopic object, a point source, or autostigmatic, microscope uses pinhole illumination to produce a diffration limited spot at the objective focus and that spot diverges as a nearly perfect spherical wavefront. This note describes many useful applications of the Point Source Microscope (PSM), a modern version of the classic autostigmatic microscope, that also includes a bright field imaging option and is useful as an autocollimator.

Case Studies & Testimonials

  • How small can the PSM be used for centering on a cylindrical axis?

    The PSM is an ideal tool for finding the center of curvature of a ball or the axis of a cylinder. The question is for how small a ball or cylinder can the PSM do this?

    The smallest article that was readily available was a piece of monofilament 8 pound test fishing line that was 290 μm in diameter. There was no problem finding the axis of the fishline, and separating the Cat’s eye reflection from the surface from the confocal reflection of the axis. The experiment was done with a 5x objective, and the result would have been even more definitive using a 10x objective.

  • Why is proper alignment so important?

    Here is a case of a very happy customer due to better optics.

    A few days ago an astronomer friend of mine commented that he had gotten the optics of his telescope improved and the improvement reduced the time it took to get data by a factor of 3. For an astronomer this is a dramatic improvement since observing time on large telescopes can cost thousands of dollars an hour.

    My friend did not say how the optics had been improved, but the important point is that better optics, whether due to figure errors, mounting or alignment mean more productive optics. I generally think of better optics as a better product leaving the manufacturing facility without thinking about how much the better optics mean to the productivity of the customer.