Real-Time Correction of Atmospherically Degraded Telescope Images Through Image Sharpening
STANFORD RESEARCH INST MENLO PARK CA
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A new technique for the correction of atmospheric distortion in a telescope is presented. Most of this distortion arises from a random phase variation in the incoming light across the telescope aperture. This variation limits the resolving power of even large telescopes to about one second of arc. If one defines the sharpness value of the images in a suitable way, this sharpness is maximized only when the phase distortion of the incoming light is zero. The report presents computer simulations of a simple feedback system in which flexible optical elements, adjusted to maximize the sharpness, correct most of the atmospheric distortion.