In this Letter, we introduce a wavefront slope sensor based on a diffractive element. The diffractive element wavefront sensor (DEWS) produces four double overlapping copies of the incoming wavefront acting like a combination of shearing and pyramidal sensors. The DEWS allows a simple and fast slope estimate. The wavefront sampling can be as high as the number of pixel assigned to cover a wavefront copy, and it can be modified with only binning the CCD pixels. The theory for designing the sensor, its application to extract local slope information, and a simple noise analysis are presented. An application example for atmosphere aberrated wavefronts is demonstrated.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics
Original Manuscript: June 29, 2012
Revised Manuscript: July 20, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: July 23, 2012
Published: September 7, 2012
Manuel P. Cagigal and Pedro J. Valle, "Wavefront sensing using diffractive elements," Opt. Lett. 37, 3813-3815 (2012)