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Proceedings Paper

Phase-contrast wavefront sensing for adaptive optics
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Paper Abstract

Most ground-based adaptive optics systems use one of a small number of wavefront sensor technologies, notably (for relatively high-order systems) the Shack-Hartmann sensor, which provides local measurements of the phase slope (first derivative) at a number of regularly-spaced points across the telescope pupil. The curvature sensor, with response proportional to the second derivative of the phase, is also sometimes used, but has undesirable noise propagation properties during wavefront reconstruction as the number of actuators becomes large. It is interesting to consider the use for astronomical adaptive optics of the "phase contrast" technique, originally developed for microscopy by Zernike to allow convenient viewing of phase objects. In this technique, the wavefront sensor provides a direct measurement of the local value of phase in each subaperture of the pupil. This approach has some obvious disadvantages compared to Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensing, but has some less obvious but substantial advantages as well. Here we evaluate the relative merits in a practical ground-based adaptive optics system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 October 2004
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5553, Advanced Wavefront Control: Methods, Devices, and Applications II, (12 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.560373
Show Author Affiliations
Eric E. Bloemhof, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
J. Kent Wallace, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5553:
Advanced Wavefront Control: Methods, Devices, and Applications II
John D. Gonglewski; Mark T. Gruneisen; Michael K. Giles, Editor(s)

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