Use of the Abbe sine condition to quantify alignment aberrations in optical imaging systems

James H. Burge, Chunyu Zhao, Sheng Huei Lu

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

11 Scopus citations


Violation of Abbe's sine condition is well-known to cause coma in axisymmetric imaging systems, and generally any offense against the sine condition (OSC) will cause aberrations that have linear dependence on the field angle. A well-corrected imaging system must obey the Abbe sine condition. A misaligned optical system can have particular forms of the OSC which are evaluated here. The lowest order non-trivial effects of misalignment have quadratic pupil dependence which causes a combination of astigmatism and focus that have linear field dependence. Higher order terms can arise from complex systems, but the effects of misalignment are nearly always dominated by the lowest order effects which can be fully characterized by measuring images on axis and the on-axis offense against the sine condition. By understanding the form of the on-axis images and the OSC, the state of alignment can be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Optical Design Conference 2010
StatePublished - 2010
EventInternational Optical Design Conference 2010 - Jackson Hole, WY, United States
Duration: Jun 13 2010Jun 17 2010

Publication series

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


OtherInternational Optical Design Conference 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityJackson Hole, WY


  • Optical design
  • aberrations
  • alignment

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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