OSA's Digital Library

Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 5 — Mar. 2, 2009
  • pp: 3447–3460

Emulation of dynamic wavefront disturbances using a deformable mirror

Ross A. Conrad, William E. Wilcox, Timothy H. Williams, Steven Michael, and Jeffrey M. Roth  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 5, pp. 3447-3460 (2009)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (894 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Boundary-layer turbulence resulting from uneven airflow around window interfaces can impact airborne laser communications (lasercom). In the focal plane, these distortions can produce fast jitter and beam break-up, posing challenges for tracking and communications. We demonstrate an experimental emulator that reproduces aircraft aero-optical distortions using a deformable mirror. This boundary-layer emulator resides in a hardware testbed that experimentally mimics air-to-space lasercom links in a controlled, laboratory environment. The boundary-layer emulator operates in the 1.55-μm band and accurately recreates aero-optical distortions at a rate of 2 kilo-frames per second.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.7060) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Turbulence
(010.7350) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Wave-front sensing
(110.0115) Imaging systems : Imaging through turbulent media
(060.2605) Fiber optics and optical communications : Free-space optical communication
(230.4685) Optical devices : Optical microelectromechanical devices
(110.7348) Imaging systems : Wavefront encoding

ToC Category:
Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics

Original Manuscript: August 26, 2008
Revised Manuscript: January 23, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: January 30, 2009
Published: February 20, 2009

Ross A. Conrad, Williams E. Wilcox, Timothy H. Williams, Steven Michael, and Jeffrey M. Roth, "Emulation of dynamic wavefront disturbances using a deformable mirror," Opt. Express 17, 3447-3460 (2009)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. S. G. Lambert and W. L. Casey, Laser Communications in Space (Artech House, Norwood, MA, 1995), Chap. 3.
  2. R. Parenti, R. J. Sasiela, L. C. Andrews, and R. L. Phillips, "Modeling the PDF for the irradiance of an uplink beam in the presence of beam wander," Proc. SPIE 6215, 621508.1-13 (2006).
  3. T. G. Bifano, J. A. Perreault, and P. A. Bierden "A micromachined deformable mirror for optical wavefront compensation," Proc. SPIE 4124, 7-14 (2000). [CrossRef]
  4. J. M. Roth, R. J. Murphy, W. E. Wilcox, and R. A. Conrad, "Experimental Emulation of Air-to-Space Laser Communication Links," 2008 IEEE-LEOS Annual Meeting, 13 November 2008, Paper ThAA2, 886-7.
  5. R. A. Conrad, R. J. Murphy, T. H. Williams, W. E. Wilcox, S. Michael, and J. M. Roth, "Experimental comparison of tracking algorithms in the presence of aircraft boundary-layer distortions for emulated free-space laser communication links," Appl. Opt. 48, A98-A106 (2009). [CrossRef]
  6. J. M. Roth, R. E. Bland, and S. I. Libby, "Large-Aperture Wide Field of View Optical Circulators," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17, 2128-2130 (2005). [CrossRef]
  7. Y. Zhou and T. Bifano, "Characterization of Contour Shapes Achievable with a MEMS Deformable Mirror," Proc. SPIE 6113, 123-130 (2006).
  8. Y. Zhou and T. Bifano, "Adaptive optics using a MEMS deformable mirror," Proc. SPIE 6018, 350-356 (2005).
  9. J. Wyant, "Zernike Polynomials," http://www.optics.arizona.edu/jcwyant/Zernikes/ZernikeP lynomialsForTheWeb.pdf
  10. R. A. Conrad, Impact of the Boundary Layer on Pointing and Tracking in Airborne Free-Space Laser Communication Links (Master’s Dissertation, Aeronautics & Astronautics Department, M.I.T., June 2008). [PubMed]
  11. S. Zheng, Tracking Algorithms Under Boundary Layer Effects for Free-Space Optical Communications (Master’s Dissertation, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, M.I.T., August 2007).
  12. T. Bifano, P. Bierden, and J. Perreault, "Micromachined Deformable Mirrors for Dynamic Wavefront Control," Proc. SPIE 5553, 1-16 (2004). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

Supplementary Material

» Media 1: MOV (4016 KB)     
» Media 2: MOV (3283 KB)     

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited