Topography stitching in the spatial frequency domain for the representation of mid-spatial frequency errors
Sub-aperture fabrication techniques such as diamond turning, ion beam figuring, and bonnet polishing are indispensable tools in today’s optical fabrication chain. Each of these tools addresses different figure and roughness imperfections corresponding to a broad spatial frequency range. Their individual effects, however, cannot be regarded as completely independent from each other due to the concurrent formation of form and finish errors, particularly in the mid-spatial frequency (MSF) region. Deterministic Zernike polynomials and statistical power spectral density (PSD) functions are often used to represent form and finish errors, respectively. Typically, both types of surface errors are treated separately when their impact on optical performance is considered: (i) wave aberrations caused by figure errors and (ii) stray light resulting from surface roughness. To fill the gap between deterministic and statistical descriptions, a generalized surface description is of great importance for bringing versatility to the entire optical fabrication chain by enabling easy and quick exchange of surface topography data between three disciplines: optical design, manufacturing, and characterization. In this work, we present a surface description by stitching the amplitude and unwrapped phase spectra of several surface topography measurements at different magnifications. An alternative representation of surface errors at different regimes is proposed, allowing us to bridge the gap between figure and finish as well as to describe the well-known MSF errors.