Abstract

The electronics, computing hardware, and computing used to provide real-time modal control for a laser guide-star adaptive optics system are presented. This approach offers advantages in the control of unobserved modes, the elimination of unwanted modes (e.g., tip and tilt), and automatic handling of the case of low-resolution lens arrays. In our two-step modal implementation, the input vector of gradients is first decomposed into a Zernike polynomial mode by a least-squares estimate. The number of modes is assumed to be less than or equal to the number of actuators. The mode coefficients are then available for collection and analysis or for the application of modal weights. Thus the modal weights may be changed quickly without recalculating the full matrix. The control-loop integrators are at this point in the algorithm. To calculate the deformable-mirror drive signals, the mode coefficients are converted to the zonal signals by a matrix multiply. When the number of gradients measured is less than the number of actuators, the integration in the control loop will be done on the lower-resolution grid to avoid growth of unobserved modes. These low-resolution data will then be effectively interpolated to yield the deformable-mirror drive signals.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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