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Opt Express. 2006 May 1;14(9):3700-14.

Light-efficient, quantum-limited interferometric wavefront estimation by virtual mode sensing.


We describe and analyze an interferometer-based virtual modal wavefront sensor (VMWS) that can be configured to measure, for example, Zernike coefficients directly. This sensor is particularly light efficient because the determination of each modal coefficient benefits from all the available photons. Numerical simulations show that the VMWS outperforms state-of-the-art phase unwrapping at low light levels. Including up to Zernike mode 21, aberrations can be determined with a precision of about 0.17 rad (lambda/37) using low resolution (65 x 65 pixels) images and only about 400 photons total.


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