Easy System Alignment
Optical alignment means positioning optically significant features like centers of curvatures and foci precisely where the optical design specifies.
The PSM enables this process by detecting and locating these optical features on the micrometer level and then relating them to mechanical fixtures, datums and features such as steel balls.
The PSM bridges the gap between optically significant features that cannot be mechanically probed and mechanical hardware such as bores, seats and mounts that can be located by conventional mechanical means.
The PSM is also valuable for aligning aspheres and off-axis aspheres by using the aberrations aspheres produce when they are misaligned.
The PSM sees the reflected or transmitted Star image produced by the optical element or system in real time so there is optimum visual feedback as adjustments in alignment are made.
Since the PSM is sensitive to wavefront errors of as little as 8th wave rapid adjustment is made to near perfect alignment as witnessed by a symmetric image viewed going through focus.
Other Optical Metrology Uses
In addition to its use for alignment, the PSM is useful for incoming inspection for radius of curvature, focal length, figure errors larger than 8th wave and centering errors.
Used as an autocollimator by removing the objective lens, the wedge in windows and parallelism of prism faces can be measured with 1 arc second precision. The small beam size makes it particularly useful for small prisms.
A complete self contained, portable metrology system
The PSM comes as a complete system ready to use as soon as the computer boots. The PSMAlign, LabView based, software is easy to use and the source code is available.
The centroid data is available for external feedback to other systems or the centroid data can be stored for later use.
Picture of PSM aligning an off-axis parabola to a fiber feed using a plane mirror