Adaptive optics systems are essential on all large telescopes for which image quality is important. These are complex systems with many design parameters requiring optimization before good performance can be achieved. The simulation of adaptive optics systems is therefore necessary to categorize the expected performance. We describe an adaptive optics simulation platform, developed at Durham University, which can be used to simulate adaptive optics systems on the largest proposed future extremely large telescopes as well as on current systems. This platform is modular, object oriented, and has the benefit of hardware application acceleration that can be used to improve the simulation performance, essential for ensuring that the run time of a given simulation is acceptable. The simulation platform described here can be highly parallelized using parallelization techniques suited for adaptive optics simulation, while still offering the user complete control while the simulation is running. The results from the simulation of a ground layer adaptive optics system are provided as an example to demonstrate the flexibility of this simulation platform.
© 2007 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: April 24, 2006
Revised Manuscript: October 19, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: October 31, 2006
Published: February 12, 2007
Alastair Basden, Timothy Butterley, Richard Myers, and Richard Wilson, "Durham extremely large telescope adaptive optics simulation platform," Appl. Opt. 46, 1089-1098 (2007)