We present a new design of a modal wave-front sensor capable of measuring directly the Zernike components of an aberrated wave front. The sensor shows good linearity for small aberration amplitudes and is particularly suitable for integration in a closed-loop adaptive system. We introduce a sensitivity matrix and show that it is sparse, and we derive conditions specifying which elements are necessarily zero. The sensor may be temporally or spatially multiplexed, the former using a reconfigurable optical element, the latter using a numerically optimized binary optical element. Different optimization schemes are discussed, and their performance is compared.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
(010.1080) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Active or adaptive optics
(010.7350) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Wave-front sensing
(050.1380) Diffraction and gratings : Binary optics
(070.2580) Fourier optics and signal processing : Paraxial wave optics
Mark A. A. Neil, Martin J. Booth, and Tony Wilson, "New modal wave-front sensor: a theoretical analysis," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 17, 1098-1107 (2000)