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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 44, Iss. 22 — Aug. 1, 2005
  • pp: 4733–4744

Analysis of stellar interferometers as wave-front sensors

François Hénault  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 44, Issue 22, pp. 4733-4744 (2005)

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The basic principle and theoretical relationships of an original method are presented that allow the wave-front errors of a ground or spaceborne telescope to be retrieved when its main pupil is combined with a second, decentered reference optical arm. The measurement accuracy of such a telescope–interferometer is then estimated by means of various numerical simulations, and good performance is demonstrated, except in limited areas near the telescope pupil’s rim. In particular, it permits direct phase evaluation (thus avoiding the use of first- or second-order derivatives), which will be of special interest for the cophasing of segmented mirrors in future giant-telescope projects. Finally, the useful practical domain of the method is defined, which seems to be better suited for periodic diagnostics of space- or ground-based telescopes or to real-time scientific observations in some specific cases (e.g., the central star in instruments that search for extrasolar planets).

© 2005 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.7350) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Wave-front sensing
(070.2580) Fourier optics and signal processing : Paraxial wave optics
(100.5070) Image processing : Phase retrieval
(110.5100) Imaging systems : Phased-array imaging systems
(110.6770) Imaging systems : Telescopes

Original Manuscript: September 28, 2004
Revised Manuscript: March 6, 2005
Manuscript Accepted: March 22, 2005
Published: August 1, 2005

François Hénault, "Analysis of stellar interferometers as wave-front sensors," Appl. Opt. 44, 4733-4744 (2005)

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