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 × 10 subapertures or a curvature plus bimorph mirror system with 56 subapertures yields a 50% Strehl ratio at 1.6 µm for a m R = 14.7 magnitude star, with almost equivalent performance at both brighter and dimmer light levels.
© 1997 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: July 25, 1995
Revised Manuscript: September 23, 1996
Published: May 1, 1997
Françcois Rigaut, Brent L. Ellerbroek, and Malcolm J. Northcott, "Comparison of curvature-based and Shack–Hartmann-based adaptive optics for the Gemini telescope," Appl. Opt. 36, 2856-2868 (1997)