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New type of autocollimator based on the normal tracing method and Risley prisms

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Abstract

In the present study, we proposed a new type of autocollimator for high-accuracy angular measurement within a large angle range. The new system comprises a traditional autocollimator and Risley prisms, and it employs the normal tracing method to measure the angle. By rotating the Risley prisms, the outgoing beam of the autocollimator can be deflected close to the normal direction of the reflecting mirror and then reflected back to the system by the mirror along the near normal direction to realize normal tracing. Based on the angle measured by the autocollimator and the rotation angles of Risley prisms, we can calculate the tilt angle of the mirror. Since the beam returns to the system close to the original path, the angle error caused by aberration, optical component processing defects, nonuniform refractive index, and so on, can be ignored. Due to the normal tracing measurement method, theoretically, the angle error is not affected by the working distance. ZEMAX non-sequential simulation shows that the angle error caused by aberration in the new system can be significantly reduced.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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Data underlying the results presented in this paper are not publicly available at this time but may be obtained from the authors upon reasonable request.

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