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Title: High stability wavefront reference source

A thermally and mechanically stable wavefront reference source which produces a collimated output laser beam. The output beam comprises substantially planar reference wavefronts which are useful for aligning and testing optical interferometers. The invention receives coherent radiation from an input optical fiber, directs a diverging input beam of the coherent radiation to a beam folding mirror (to produce a reflected diverging beam), and collimates the reflected diverging beam using a collimating lens. In a class of preferred embodiments, the invention includes a thermally and mechanically stable frame comprising rod members connected between a front end plate and a back end plate. The beam folding mirror is mounted on the back end plate, and the collimating lens mounted to the rods between the end plates. The end plates and rods are preferably made of thermally stable metal alloy. Preferably, the input optical fiber is a single mode fiber coupled to an input end of a second single mode optical fiber that is wound around a mandrel fixedly attached to the frame of the apparatus. The output end of the second fiber is cleaved so as to be optically flat, so that the input beam emerging therefrom is a nearly perfect divergingmore » spherical wave.« less
Inventors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. (Pleasanton, CA)
  2. (Tracy, CA)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
869280
Assignee:
United States of America as represented by United States (Washington, DC) LLNL
Patent Number(s):
US 5309282
Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
stability; wavefront; reference; source; thermally; mechanically; stable; produces; collimated; output; laser; beam; comprises; substantially; planar; wavefronts; useful; aligning; testing; optical; interferometers; receives; coherent; radiation; input; fiber; directs; diverging; folding; mirror; produce; reflected; collimates; collimating; lens; preferred; embodiments; frame; comprising; rod; connected; front; plate; mounted; rods; plates; preferably; metal; alloy; single; mode; coupled; wound; mandrel; fixedly; attached; apparatus; cleaved; optically; flat; emerging; therefrom; nearly; perfect; spherical; wave; mechanically stable; substantially planar; collimating lens; mode fiber; spherical wave; input beam; coherent radiation; output laser; preferred embodiments; output beam; laser beam; preferred embodiment; optical fiber; metal alloy; single mode; thermally stable; reference source; mode optical; testing optical; stable metal; beam comprises; reference wavefront; reference wave; input optical; collimated output; wavefront reference; fixedly attached; fiber coupled; optical interferometer; table frame; /359/