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Proceedings Paper

Adaptive optics development: a 30-year personal perspective
Author(s): David L. Fried
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Paper Abstract

I've been involved with the development of adaptive optics almost from the beginning, and because of that I've been asked to talk about what happened in the development of that field, as I perceived it. In response to that request I have prepared the following—which is an un researched and necessarily somewhat subjective account of what I recall about the development of adaptive optics over the last 30+ years, as seen by an active and deeply involved participant. The work I've been involved with was almost entirely funded by the DoD so it is naturally to be expected that most all of what I'll have to say will have military interests underlying the work—but in fact it couldn't be very different as almost all of the work done to establish the field of adaptive optics was funded with military objectives in mind. Well before there was a field called adaptive optics I published several papers that addressed the matter of what the effects of having to propagate through atmospheric turbulence would be on the performance of various types of optical systems. As a consequence I got drawn into the field of adaptive optics development quite early, both as an analyst and as an advisor to several of the military organizations that were pushing the development of that field. I got to regularly attend government reviews of hardware development programs at various contractors, and then got to go home and analyze technical/pheiiomenology questions that came up during the reviews. As a consequence I've had a great seat from which to watch the story unfold, and now I'm going to try to put words to a bit of that story. I think I was involved in or at least had an overview look at most all of the work that led to the development of the field of adaptive optics, but I'm sure not all of it is still in my memory banks— which is my way of saying that just because I don't mention it doesn't mean it didn't happen. Some of what is missing in this presentation I just don't recall any more, and other parts are missing because they were not, in my opinion, part of the main stream (i. e. the critical path) in the development of the field. In what follows I try to trace the field's development up to about a decade ago.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 September 2001
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 4376, Laser Weapons Technology II, (4 September 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.438165
Show Author Affiliations
David L. Fried, Consultant (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4376:
Laser Weapons Technology II
William E. Thompson; Paul H. Merritt, Editor(s)

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