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Proceedings Paper

Adaptive Optics For Space Telescopes
Author(s): T. R. O' Meara; C. J. Swigert; W. P. Brown
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Paper Abstract

Adaptive optics systems for ground-based imaging through the earth's atmosphere must generally measure and correct for path distortions within a time period ranging from 0.5 to 10 milliseconds. For most astronomical objects, this requires a wavefront error sensor of the highest sensitivity -- typically a system which employs hundreds of quantum-limited photodetectors devoted exclusively to this task. This paper will point out how the system problems for figure control of orbiting telescopes are quite different since the error sources have periods which typically range from hours to years. Thus error signal integration times can be thousands of times larger for the orbiting optics, and it is feasible and economically advantageous to use low sensitivity dither adaptive optics systems, employing single detectors at the image plane. We will compare three classes of dither systems for this application: 1) one-element-at-a-time step systems; 2) half-at-a-time step systems; and 3) parallel sinusoidal dither (multidither) systems. Several types of signal processing will be compared from a signal-to-noise viewpoint. Computer simulations will be employed to illustrate the system performance at marginal signal-to-noise ratios.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 July 1976
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 0075, Imaging Through the Atmosphere, (19 July 1976); doi: 10.1117/12.954747
Show Author Affiliations
T. R. O' Meara, Hughes Research Laboratories (United States)
C. J. Swigert, Hughes Research Laboratories (United States)
W. P. Brown, Hughes Research Laboratories (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0075:
Imaging Through the Atmosphere
James C. Wyant, Editor(s)

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