Variable aberration correction using axially translating phase plates

Thomas A. Mitchell, Jose M. Sasian

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Aerodynamic requirements on airborne optical systems have brought about the need to develop lower drag conformal domes. Because these domes typically deviate greatly from spherical surface descriptions, large amounts of aberrations are induced which vary with line of sight through the dome. Several solutions to this problem have been investigated, one of which is the use of translating phase plates to dynamically dial in the appropriate amount of aberration correction. Axially translating phase plates can be described as two nominally plane parallel phase plates with matched aspheric surfaces on their inner surfaces. When placed in contact, they behave as a single plane parallel plate, but when an axial separation is introduced, the optical ray passing through the first plate intersects the second plate at a different location resulting in both a change in optical path length and a set of induced aberrations. A mathematical derivation of the aberrations generated is performed for Zernike polynomial surfaces in the presence of both converging and collimated beams. Code V is used to verify the derived expressions and the theory is used to describe the results of a previous conformal optics aberration correction technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-220
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1999
EventProceedings of the 1999 Window and Dome Technologies and Materials VI - Orlando, FL, USA
Duration: Apr 5 1999Apr 6 1999

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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