Abstract

The implementation of adaptive wave-front compensation techniques offers the potential to improve the detection sensitivity of a Michelson stellar interferometer. The improvement obtained depends on many factors, including the completeness of the wave-front corrections. Calculations based on simple theory are presented that predict the shot-noise-limited sensitivity enhancement as measured in limiting stellar visual magnitudes for adaptive optical systems offering varying degrees of spatial compensation. Even low-order wave-front corrections are shown to yield significant improvement in detection thresholds.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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