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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 49, Iss. 21 — Jul. 20, 2010
  • pp: 4052–4062

On-sky performance of the Zernike phase contrast sensor for the phasing of segmented telescopes

Isabelle Surdej, Natalia Yaitskova, and Frederic Gonte  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 49, Issue 21, pp. 4052-4062 (2010)

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The Zernike phase contrast method is a novel technique to phase the primary mirrors of segmented telescopes. It has been tested on-sky on a unit telescope of the Very Large Telescope with a segmented mirror conjugated to the primary mirror to emulate a segmented telescope. The theoretical background of this sensor and the algorithm used to retrieve the piston, tip, and tilt information are described. The performance of the sensor as a function of parameters such as star magnitude, seeing, and integration time is discussed. The phasing accuracy has always been below 15 nm root mean square wavefront error under normal conditions of operation and the limiting star magnitude achieved on-sky with this sensor is 15.7 in the red, which would be sufficient to phase segmented telescopes in closed-loop during observations.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.7350) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Wave-front sensing
(120.5050) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Phase measurement
(350.1260) Other areas of optics : Astronomical optics

ToC Category:
Astronomical Optics

Original Manuscript: February 3, 2010
Revised Manuscript: June 9, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: June 21, 2010
Published: July 14, 2010

Isabelle Surdej, Natalia Yaitskova, and Frederic Gonte, "On-sky performance of the Zernike phase contrast sensor for the phasing of segmented telescopes," Appl. Opt. 49, 4052-4062 (2010)

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