Description and reimplementation of real freeform surfaces.

Applied optics

PubMedID: 28157891

Stock J, Broemel A, Hartung J, Ochse D, Gross H. Description and reimplementation of real freeform surfaces. Appl Opt. 2017;56(3):391-396.
Freeform surfaces are becoming an increasingly exciting opportunity in optical design, in particular when correcting systems with off-axis geometries. Nevertheless, especially when coming to commercial use, the challenges for manufacturing are difficult to handle. The optical quality of a system is perturbed by typical deformations, such as localized figure errors and regular mid-spatial-frequency ripples, that come from the diamond-turning process. In this proposal, we investigated a workflow for analyzing the impact of real optical surfaces on the optical performance for even complex systems. Based on a simple and robust description, the surface is implemented back into the design. While the more localized deviations are analytically described by radial basis functions, the residual ripple structures are covered by a new approach based on the power spectral density. The reimport of optical surfaces back into the design software allows simple estimations for the requirements on manufacturing and the analysis of the realistic impact on system performance.