New feasibilities are considered for optical correlation diagnostics of rough surfaces with different distributions of irregularities. The influence of deviations of the height surface roughness distribution from a Gaussian probability distribution on the accuracy of optical analysis is discussed. The possibility for optical diagnostics of fractal surface structures are shown and the set of statistical and dimensional parameters of the scattered fields for surface roughness diagnostics is determined. Finally, a multifunctional measuring device for estimation of these parameters is proposed.© (2002) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.