An optical instrument aligns an optical beam without the need for physical intervention of the instrument within the apparatus or platforms from which the trajectory of the beam to be ascertained. The alignment apparatus and method enable the desired function to be realized without the placement of physical apertures or sensors directly in the path of the beam through the system whose spatial position and slope is to be sought. An image plane provides the observer with a pair of well-defined images that are indicative of the beam centering and pointing alignment parameters. The optical alignment can be realized without the need for referencing to an external or fixed set of coordinates or fiducials. The instrument can therefore service situations where adverse environments would otherwise prohibit the use of such instruments, including regions of high radiation, high temperature, vacuum and/or cryogenic atmospheres.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the United States Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC.