Abstract

A theoretical analysis is made of the Tschikolew, or line board test, for paraboloidal reflectors. This test has been used for many years as an indication of the quality of a paraboloidal reflector by virtue of the fact that a straight line is apparently imaged as a straight line if the reflector is perfect. It is shown that a straight line actually is imaged as a curve, but that if necessary test conditions are satisfied, the image can be approximated by a straight line. Because of the deficiencies of the Tschikolew straight-line test, a circular-line board test has been developed which utilizes a pattern of concentric circles. If the paraboloidal reflector is perfect, these circles are imaged as circles. Theoretical analysis indicates that, if the reflector is defective in any way, the image circle will be distorted. This distortion can be measured to determine the amount of deviation from the true paraboloid. Whereas the Tschikolew test is qualitative because of the difficulty in using it quantitatively, the circular-line board is shown to be suitable for simple quantitative work. The circular line board test can be made extremely sensitive by certain adjustments so that very small reflector defects can produce very large distortions in the image circle.

© 1953 Optical Society of America

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