Limits for interferometer calibration using the random ball test

Ping Zhou, James H. Burge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

37 Scopus citations


The random ball test (RBT), also known as the CaliBall test, is often used to calibrate interferometer transmission spheres. This paper provides a way to estimate the total errors remaining after interferometer calibration using the RBT. Errors that cannot be removed by calibration include random errors due to measurement noise in the calibration, geometric errors, and errors due to diffraction. The random errors can be reduced by averaging multiple random ball tests. The geometric errors and diffraction errors are systematic, and arise when the radius of the CaliBall is different from that of the test optic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical Manufacturing and Testing VIII
StatePublished - 2009
EventOptical Manufacturing and Testing VIII - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 4 2009Aug 5 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherOptical Manufacturing and Testing VIII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Diffraction
  • Imaging distortion
  • Interferometer calibration
  • Random ball test
  • Retrace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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