Proceedings PaperPrinciples of adaptive optics
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The image quality degradation due to atmospheric turbulence is one of the main limitations for imaging, laser propagation, and communication through the atmosphere. Adaptive optics is a technology to overcome these problems by real-time phase compensation. The main components for such systems, like wavefront correctors, wavefront sensors, and dedicated computers are existing and complete systems have been successfully tested. This article describes the principles of adaptive optics and concentrates on its applications to astronomical imaging, including some first observing results. The performance in image quality which can be expected from adaptive optics and the requirements for its application are discussed.