Abstract

A novel method for testing the optical quality of large parabolic solar concentrators is presented, based on autocollimation. An optical system continuously scans the reflector along a fixed reference axis. At each position along the axis, the spread function is obtained. Analysis of the location, width, and intensity changes of this function gives quantitative information about the reflector’s defects. A figure of merit describing the performance of parabolic trough reflectors is proposed.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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