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Appl Opt. 1997 May 1;36(13):2856-68.

Comparison of curvature-based and Shack-Hartmann-based adaptive optics for the Gemini telescope.


We present the results of independent numerical simulations of adaptive optics systems for 8-m astronomical telescopes that use both Shack-Hartmann and wave-front curvature sensors. Four differents codes provided consistency checks and redundancy. All four simulate a complete system and model noise and servo-lag effects. A common atmospheric turbulence generator was used for consistency. We present the main characteristics of the codes, and we report the system performance in term of Strehl ratio and full width at half-maximum versus the magnitude of the (on-axis) guide star. We show that a Shack-Hartmann plus stacked actuator mirror system with 10 x 10 subapertures or a curvature plus bimorph mirror system with 56 subapertures yields a 50% Strehl ratio at 1.6 mum for a m(R) = 14.7 magnitude star, with almost equivalent performance at both brighter and dimmer light levels.

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