AIR FORCE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB United States
As the reliance on satellite data for military and commercial use increases, more effort must be exerted to protect our space-based assets. In order to help increase our space domain awareness SDA, new approaches to ground-based space surveillance via wavefront sensing must be adopted. Improving phase-unwrapping algorithms in order to assist in phase retrieval methods is one way of increasing the performance in current adaptive optics AO systems. This thesis proposes a new phase-unwrapping algorithm that uses a global, gradient-based technique to more rapidly identify and correct for areas of phase wrapping during particular phase retrieval methods. This is beneficial in regard to the speed and accuracy within which a wrapped phase estimate is unwrapped using a new algorithm, and doing so without having to change current AO systems or physical setups.