We investigate a method for widening the compensated field of view of an adaptive-optical telescope with multiple deformable mirrors and an array of artificial guide stars. An ensemble of wavefront sensor measurements, made with the individual guide stars in the array, is used to estimate the contribution of a region of the atmosphere to the cumulative phase distortion. Our analysis includes the effects of measurement noise, wavefront-sensor sampling, and reconstruction of the wave front from slope measurements. We performed numerical computations for an atmosphere consisting of two turbulent layers: one at 1% of the guide-star altitude with 90% of the total turbulence strength and one at 10% of the guide-star altitude with the remaining 10% of the total turbulence strength. If we assume that r0 = 0.15 m and that a photon-limited wave-front sensor detecting 50 photons/r0-sized subaperture is used, the results indicate that a 0.9-m-square telescope with a diagonal field of view of ~92 μrad ≈ 19 arcsec can use two deformable mirrors, four laser guide stars, and a natural tilt reference star to achieve an rms residual phase error that is <λ/7 over its entire field of view.
© 1994 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 2, 1992
Revised Manuscript: February 1, 1993
Manuscript Accepted: February 8, 1993
Published: January 1, 1994
Dustin C. Johnston and Byron M. Welsh, "Analysis of multiconjugate adaptive optics," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 11, 394-408 (1994)