An efficient approach is presented that allows the field of view sensitivities of a field-widened birefringent interferometer constructed from several stacked birefringent slabs to be examined. The approach utilizes a Jones matrix framework that is valid for birefringent slabs that have their optic axis parallel to the surface of the slab. It neglects Fresnel effects and multiple reflections, but accounts for birefringent splitting and does not neglect higher-order angular effects. The simplified approach allows the angular sensitivity of the optical path difference near the field-widened configuration to be examined in the presence of misalignment and mismatches between the components. Understanding these effects is critical to developing wide-field interferometers that can be utilized for imaging purposes. Here, we present the developed framework and apply it to examine the field of view effects of a three-element field-widened static birefringent interferometer that is being developed for the measurement of upper atmospheric winds. We examine the sensitivity of the device to rotational misalignment, mismatches, and wavelength shifts. Comparisons among the modeled interference fringes, output from Zemax optical design software, and lab observations are used to validate the approach. It is also shown that the approach accurately simulates parasitic fringes associated with unwanted coupling between extraordinary and ordinary waves at the interfaces.
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21 September 2020: A correction was made to Eq. (3).
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