Full-aperture interferometric test of convex secondary mirrors using holographic test plates

J. H. Burge, D. S. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Convex secondary mirrors are notoriously difficult to fabricate because of the tremendous cost and difficulty of making accurate measurements of the optical surfaces. The new 6.5- and 8-m-class telescopes require secondary mirrors that are larger, more aspheric, and more accurately figured than those for existing telescopes. The challenge of measuring these giant optics has spurred the development of a new measurement technique using holographic test plates. This test uses a full-aperture test plate with a computer-generated hologram (CGH) fabricated onto the spherical reference surface. When supported a few millimeters from the secondary and properly illuminated with laser light, an interference pattern is formed that shows the secondary surface errors. The hologram consists of annular rings of metal drawn onto the curved test plate surface using a custom-built writing machine. The accuracy of the surface measurement using this technique is expected to be 35 nm P-V and 6 nm rms for a 1.7- m secondary mirror for the MMT. Considerably higher accuracy is expected for less aspheric surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-192
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Jun 1 1994
EventAdvanced Technology Optical Telescopes V 1994 - Kailua, Kona, United States
Duration: Mar 13 1994Mar 18 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Full-aperture interferometric test of convex secondary mirrors using holographic test plates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this