Adaptive optics has been used in a cooperative mode to measure the phase distortion of the light from a star and to correct its image with a deformable mirror. A wave-front sensor in the adaptive-optics system that measures the phase aberrations requires that an object be fairly bright for accurate performance of the measurement. The use of synthetic beacons provides a means of correcting the images of objects that are too dim to allow one to use their light to provide correction in a cooperative mode. Synthetic beacons at a finite distance do not provide a perfect correction in imaging an object at a greater distance. The error in making a correction with one or more beacons is analyzed. Analytical expressions that can be used to determine performance in a variety of geometries, with various beacon altitudes and numbers, are derived. This analysis is applied to 60-cm and 4-m systems.
© 1994 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: September 14, 1992
Revised Manuscript: April 9, 1993
Manuscript Accepted: April 14, 1993
Published: January 1, 1994
Richard J. Sasiela, "Wave-front correction by one or more synthetic beacons," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 11, 379-393 (1994)