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SBIR/STTR

Low coherence wavefront probe for nanometer level free-form metrology, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

We propose an innovative, low coherence probe for rapid measurement of free-form optical surfaces based on a novel method of spectrally controlled interferometry. The key innovations are the use of a new interferometric modality and a novel non-contact optical probe that together measure high surface slope acceptance angles to nanometer sensitivity. When the probe is integrated with a precision motion, x, y, & z metrology frame (Phase II) (see Figure-1), it will meet NASA's need to measure free-form optical surfaces from 0.5 cm to 6 cm diameter ranging from F/2 to F/20, including slopes up to 20 degrees (with potential for 60 degrees), with an uncertainty targeted at 2 nm RMS. The probe operation does not require tilting to measure slopes. This results in this simplified cartesian metrology frame, also critical to achieve 2 nanometer measurement uncertainty. These features: nanometer resolution and 20 degree slope acceptance angle, have up to this time not been found in a single probe or sensor, non-contact or contact. This proposal integrates the spectrally controlled source and breadboard probe developed under a previous SBIR to develop a practical detection method reading the technology for a successful SBIR Phase II project. More »

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