Simple four-mirror anastigmatic systems with at least one infinite conjugate
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This thesis describes an analytical approach to the optical design of four-mirror anastigmatic optical systems. In all cases investigated here the object is at infinity. In the introduction the field of reflecting, or "catoptric", optical system design is discussed and given some historical context. The concept of the "simplest possible reflecting anastigmat" is raised in connection with Plate Diagram analysis. It is shown that four-plate systems are in general the simplest possible anastigmats, and that four-plate systems comprised of four spherical mirrors are the last family of "simplest possible reflecting anastigmats" for which the complete solution set remains unknown. In chapter 2 third-order aberration coefficients in wavefront measure are derived in a form that is particularly suitable for Plate Diagram analysis. These coefficients are subsequently used to describe the Plate Diagram, and to detail the application of the Plate Diagram to the survey of all possible solutions for four-spherical-mirror anastigmats. The Plate Diagram technique is also generalized to investigate its use as an optical design tool. In the example given a generalized Plate Diagram approach is used to determine solutions for four-mirror anastigmats with a prescribed first-order layout and a minimum number of conicoids. In chapter 3 results are presented for the survey of four-spherical-mirror anastigmats in which all elements are required to be smaller than the primary mirror. Two novel families of four-spherical-mirror anastigmats are presented and these are shown to be the only examples of four-spherical-mirror systems that exist under the given constraints. Chapter 4 gives an example of the application of Plate Diagram analysis to the design of an anastigmatic system with a useful first-order layout and a minimum number of conicoid mirrors. It is shown that systems with useful first-order layouts and only one conicoid mirror can be obtained using this method. In chapter 5 results are presented of the survey of all remaining four-spherical-mirror anastigmatic systems: that is systems in which elements are allowed to exceed the diameter of the entrance pupil, which includes systems with concave and convex primary mirrors. A wide variety of solutions are presented and classified according to both the underlying geometry of the solutions and the first-order layouts. Of these systems only one has been reported in previously published literature. The results presented in this thesis complete the set of "four-plate" reflecting anastigmats, and it can now be said that all possible solutions for four-spherical-mirror anastigmatic systems have been determined.