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Wavelength-stepping algorithm for testing thickness, front and back surfaces of optical plates with high signal-to-noise ratio

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posted on 2023-07-11, 09:23 authored by Manuel Servin, Moises Padilla, Gonzalo Paez, Msc Garnica
We propose a least-squares phase-stepping algorithm (LS-PSA) consisting of only 14 steps for high-quality optical plate testing. Optical plate testing produces an infinite number of simultaneous fringe patterns due to multiple reflections. However, because of the small reflection of common optical materials, only a few simultaneous fringes have amplitudes above the measuring noise. From these fringes, only the variations of the plate's surfaces and thickness are of interest. To measure these plates, one must use wavelength-stepping, which corresponds to phase-stepping in standard digital interferometry. The designed PSA must phase-demodulate a single fringe sequence and filter out the remaining temporal fringes. In the available literature, researchers have adapted PSAs to the dimensions of particular plates. As a consequence, there are as many PSAs published as different testing plate conditions. Moreover, these PSAs are designed with too many phase-steps to provide detuning robustness well above the required level. Instead, we mathematically prove that a single 14-step LS-PSA can adapt to several testing setups. As is well known, this 14-step LS-PSA has a maximum signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and the highest harmonics rejection among any other 14-step PSA. Due to optical dispersion and experimental length measuring errors, the fringes may have a slight phase detuning. Using propagation error theory, we demonstrate that measuring distances with around 1% uncertainty produces a small and acceptable detuning error for the proposed 14-step LS-PSA.


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