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Nodal Aberration Theory & System Alignement (2007 - 2010)

The theoretical framework of a vectorial form of aberration theory, also referred to as nodal aberration theory has been developed in the 1980s at the University of Arizona, but it remains fairly unknown in the optical design/testing community, despite of its intriguing applications.

In this work we are investigating applications of nodal aberration theory to the alignment of optical systems and to the design of decentered/tilted component optical systems. Most emphasis has been on the alignment of two-and three-mirror astronomical telescopes and the development of deterministic alignment strategies.

Ongoing work also explores the aberration field response of misaligned optical systems subject to low-spatial frequency figure errors, a thorough understanding of which is important particularly in active optics applications.