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Generating artificial reference images for open loop correlation wavefront sensors.

Townson, M. J. and Love, G. D. and Saunter, C. D. (2018) 'Generating artificial reference images for open loop correlation wavefront sensors.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 479 (2). pp. 1595-1602.


Shack–Hartmann wavefront sensors for both solar and laser guide star adaptive optics (with elongated spots) need to observe extended objects. Correlation techniques have been successfully employed to measure the wavefront gradient in solar adaptive optics systems and have been proposed for laser guide star systems. In this paper, we describe a method for synthesizing reference images for correlation Shack–Hartmann wavefront sensors with a larger field of view than individual sub-apertures. We then show how these supersized reference images can increase the performance of correlation wavefront sensors in regimes where large relative shifts are induced between sub-apertures, such as those observed in open-loop wavefront sensors. The technique we describe requires no external knowledge outside of the wavefront-sensor images, making it available as an entirely ‘software’ upgrade to an existing adaptive optics system. For solar adaptive optics we show the supersized reference images extend the magnitude of shifts, which can be accurately measured from 12percent to 50percent of the field of view of a sub-aperture and in laser guide star wavefront sensors the magnitude of centroids that can be accurately measured is increased from 12percent to 25percent of the total field of view of the sub-aperture.

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Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2018 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:15 May 2018
Date deposited:13 July 2018
Date of first online publication:25 May 2018
Date first made open access:13 July 2018

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