We present an analytic description of the inter-element alignment effect of misaligned optical systems with circular pupils. The description shows that decenter and tilt produce lateral displacement of the field and pupil coordinates, whilst a despace directly modifies the aberration coefficients by perturbing paraxial distances and scale factors of the two coordinates. This reveals that a misaligned surface not only changes its aberration characteristics, but also affects those of subsequent surfaces, which is the essence of the inter-element alignment effect. This description, combined with primary aberration theory, was applied to various misaligned systems to approximate their aberrations and alignment sensitivities given by ray-tracing. The results demonstrate the accuracy and robustness of this approach. We also discuss the potential usefulness of the description in estimating the axial separations between surfaces.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics