Abstract

We present a new type of optical wave-front sensor: the sampling field sensor (SFS). The SFS attempts to solve the problem of real-time optical phase detection. It has a high space-bandwidth product and can be made compact and vibration insensitive. We describe a particular implementation of this sensor and compare it, through numerical simulations, with a more mature technique based on the Shack–Hartmann wave-front sensor. We also present experimental results for SFS phase estimation. Finally, we discuss the advantages and drawbacks of this SFS implementation and suggest alternative implementations.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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