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WAVEFRONT DISTORTION

Photonics Spectra
Jan 2006
Precision-Optical Engineering has added IF007, “Wavefront Distortion Measurement — MTF vs. Interferometry,” to its series of downloadable data sheets about interferometry. The two-page document compares two methods of measuring modulation transfer function (MTF) in optical components and systems: Fourier transform of measured line-spread function and interferometric measurements. It explains MTF and how it provides a quantitative measure of image quality. The benefits of both techniques in the design of zoom optical telescopes are presented as a practical example.



GLOSSARY
image quality
A measure of the closeness with which an optical image is capable of resembling the original object. The factors that affect image quality are lens aberrations, diffraction, dirt and stray light within the system, and atmospheric turbulence and haze outside it. If the image is recorded photographically, it can become further degraded by image motion during exposure and by light diffusion in the emulsion. At one time image quality was expressed by its resolving power, but today a more meaningful...
interferometry
The study and utilization of interference phenomena, based on the wave properties of light.
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