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Opt Express. 2005 Jul 11;13(14):5580-90.

Laboratory MCAO Test-Bed for Developing Wavefront Sensing Concepts.


An experimental optical bench test-bed for developing new wavefront sensing concepts for Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO) systems is described. The main objective is to resolve imaging problems associated with wavefront sensing of the atmospheric turbulence for future MCAO systems on Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs). The test-bed incorporates five reference sources, two deformable mirrors (DMs) and atmospheric phase screens to simulate a scaled version of a 10-m adaptive telescope operating at the K band. A recently proposed compact tomographic wavefront sensor is employed for star-oriented DMs control in the MCAO system. The MCAO test-bed is used to verify the feasibility of the wavefront sensing concept utilizing a field lenslet array for multi-pupil imaging on a single detector. First experimental results of MCAO correction with the proposed tomographic wavefront sensor are presented and compared to the theoretical prediction based on the characteristics of the phase screens, actuator density of the DMs and the guide star configuration.

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