Abstract

It is well known that atmospheric turbulence severely degrades the performance of ground-based imaging systems. Techniques to overcome the effects of the atmosphere have been developing at a rapid pace over the past 10 years. These techniques can be grouped into two broad categories: predetection and postdetection techniques. A recent newcomer to the postdetection scene is deconvolution from wave-front sensing (DWFS). DWFS is a postdetection image-reconstruction technique that makes use of one feature of predetection techniques. A wave-front sensor (WFS) is used to record the wave-front phase distortion in the pupil of the telescope for each short-exposure image. The additional information provided by the WFS is used to estimate the system’s point-spread function (PSF). The PSF is then used in conjunction with the ensemble of short-exposure images to obtain an estimate of the object intensity distribution through deconvolution. With the addition of DWFS to the suite of possible postdetection image-reconstruction techniques, it is natural to ask “How does DWFS compare with both traditional linear and speckle image-reconstruction techniques?” In the results we make a direct comparison based on a frequency-domain signal-to-noise-ratio performance metric. This metric is applied to each technique’s image-reconstruction estimator. We find that DWFS nearly always results in improved performance over the estimators of traditional linear image reconstruction such as Wiener filtering. On the other hand, DWFS does not always outperform speckle-imaging techniques, and in cases that it does the improvement is small.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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