Abstract

We propose a novel wavefront sensor and study its performance with an analytical formulation. The sensor has a polarizing point-diffraction beam splitter. Using transmitted and reflected beams, we can build a real-time point-diffraction interferometer with high precision and efficiency. Our analytical studies reveal that wavefront errors might be measured incorrectly and that less precise estimates of wavefronts appear as the pinhole radius Rpin is increased. An investigation of propagating uncertainties shows that the wavefront measurement can be calibrated by estimating the pinhole effects and the polarizing properties with a precision of a few percent. Based on these studies, Rpin should be smaller than half of the Airy disk for better performance.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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