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Support for Starfire Optical Range

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The end-to-end performance achieved by an adaptive optical AO imaging system is determined by a combination of the residual time-varying phase distortions associated with atmospheric turbulence, and the quasi-static unsensed and uncorrectable aberrations in the optical system itself. Although the effects of these two errors on the time averaged Strehl ratio and the time averaged optical transfer function OTF of the AO system are not formally separable, such an approximation is found to be accurate to within a few per cent for a range of representative residual wave-front errors. In these calculations, we have combined static optical system aberrations and time-varying residual phase distortion characteristic of deformable mirror DM fitting error, wave-front sensor WFS noise, and anisoplanatism. The static aberrations consist of focus errors of varying magnitudes as well as a combination of unsensed and uncorrectable mirror figure errors derived from modeling by the Gemini beta-meter Telescopes project. The overall Strehl ratios and OTFs due to the combined effect of these error sources are well approximated as products of separate factors for the static and time-varying aberrations, as long as the overall Strehl ratio due to both errors is greater than about 0.1. For lower Strehl ratios the products provide lower bounds on the actual values of the Strehl ratio and OTF. The speckle transfer function STF is also well approximated by a product of two functions, but only where AO compensation is sufficiently good that speckle imaging techniques are usually not required.

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  • Optical Detection and Detectors
  • Optics

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