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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 12, Iss. 25 — Dec. 13, 2004
  • pp: 6240–6245

Simple broadband implementation of a phase contrast wavefront sensor for adaptive optics

E. E. Bloemhof and J. K. Wallace  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 12, Issue 25, pp. 6240-6245 (2004)

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The most critical element of an adaptive optics system is its wavefront sensor, which must measure the closed-loop difference between the corrected wavefront and an ideal template at high speed, in real time, over a dense sampling of the pupil. Most high-order systems have used Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensors, but a novel approach based on Zernike’s phase contrast principle appears promising. In this paper we discuss a simple way to achromatize such a phase contrast wavefront sensor, using the π/2 phase difference between reflected and transmitted rays in a thin, symmetric beam splitter. We further model the response at a range of wavelengths to show that the required transverse dimension of the focal-plane phase-shifting spot, nominally λ/D, may not be very sensitive to wavelength, and so in practice additional optics to introduce wavelength-dependent transverse magnification achromatizing this spot diameter may not be required. A very simple broadband implementation of the phase contrast wavefront sensor results.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1080) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Active or adaptive optics
(010.7350) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Wave-front sensing
(350.1260) Other areas of optics : Astronomical optics

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Original Manuscript: October 11, 2004
Revised Manuscript: November 28, 2004
Published: December 13, 2004

E. Bloemhof and J. Wallace, "Simple broadband implementation of a phase contrast wavefront sensor for adaptive optics," Opt. Express 12, 6240-6245 (2004)

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