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Proceedings Paper

Telescope interferometers: an alternative to classical wavefront sensors
Author(s): F. Hénault
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Paper Abstract

Several types of Wavefront Sensors (WFS) are nowadays available in the field of Adaptive Optics (AO). Generally speaking, their basic principle consists in measuring slopes or curvatures of Wavefront Errors (WFE) transmitted by a telescope, subsequently reconstructing WFEs digitally. Such process, however, does not seem to be well suited for evaluating co-phasing or piston errors of future large segmented telescopes in quasi real-time. This communication presents an original, recently proposed technique for direct WFE sensing. The principle of the device, which is named "Telescope-Interferometer" (TI), is based on the addition of a reference optical arm into the telescope pupil plane. Then incident WFEs are deduced from Point Spread Function (PSF) measurements at the telescope focal plane. Herein are described two different types of TIs, and their performance are discussed in terms of intrinsic measurement accuracy and spatial resolution. Various error sources are studied by means of numerical simulations, among which photon noise sounds the most critical. Those computations finally help to define the application range of the TI method in an AO regime, including main and auxiliary telescope diameters and magnitude of the guide star. Some practical examples of optical configurations are also described and commented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 July 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7015, Adaptive Optics Systems, 70155N (15 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.788947
Show Author Affiliations
F. Hénault, UMR 6525 CNRS H. FIZEAU – UNS, OCA (France)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7015:
Adaptive Optics Systems
Norbert Hubin; Claire E. Max; Peter L. Wizinowich, Editor(s)

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