To achieve its full diffraction limit in the infrared, the primary mirror of the Keck telescope (now telescopes) must be properly phased: The steps or piston errors between the individual mirror segments must be reduced to less than 100 nm. We accomplish this with a wave optics variation of the Shack–Hartmann test, in which the signal is not the centroid but rather the degree of coherence of the individual subimages. Using filters with a variety of coherence lengths, we can capture segments with initial piston errors as large as ±30 μm and reduce these to 30 nm—a dynamic range of 3 orders of magnitude. Segment aberrations contribute substantially to the residual errors of ∼75 nm.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: January 11, 1997
Revised Manuscript: July 29, 1997
Published: January 1, 1998
Gary Chanan, Mitchell Troy, Frank Dekens, Scott Michaels, Jerry Nelson, Terry Mast, and David Kirkman, "Phasing the mirror segments of the Keck telescopes: the broadband phasing algorithm," Appl. Opt. 37, 140-155 (1998)