It is shown that an aberrated wavefront incident upon a Fabry–Perot optical cavity excites higher order spatial modes in the cavity and that the spectral width and distribution of these modes is indicative of the type and magnitude of the aberration. The cavities are purely passive, and therefore frequency content is limited to that provided by the original light source. To illustrate this concept, spatial mode decomposition and transmission spectrum calculation are simulated on an example cavity; the effects of various phase delays, in the form of two basic Seidel aberrations and a composite of Zernike polynomial terms, are shown using both Laguerre–Gaussian and plane wave incident beams. The aggregate spectral width of the cavity modes excited by the aberrations is seen to widen as the magnitude of the aberrations’ phase delay increases.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Joint Directed Energy Transition Office (DE-JTO); Office of Naval Research (ONR) (N00014-17-1-2438).
© 2019 Optical Society of America