Abstract

A comprehensive model of laser propagation in the atmosphere with a complete adaptive optics (AO) system for phase compensation is presented, and a corresponding computer program is compiled. A direct wave-front gradient control method is used to reconstruct the wave-front phase. With the long-exposure Strehl ratio as the evaluation parameter, a numerical simulation of an AO system in a stationary state with the atmospheric propagation of a laser beam was conducted. It was found that for certain conditions the phase screen that describes turbulence in the atmosphere might not be isotropic. Numerical experiments show that the computational results in imaging of lenses by means of the fast Fourier transform (FFT) method agree well with those computed by means of an integration method. However, the computer time required for the FFT method is 1 order of magnitude less than that of the integration method. Phase tailoring of the calculated phase is presented as a means to solve the problem that variance of the calculated residual phase does not correspond to the correction effectiveness of an AO system. It is found for the first time to our knowledge that for a constant delay time of an AO system, when the lateral wind speed exceeds a threshold, the compensation effectiveness of an AO system is better than that of complete phase conjugation. This finding indicates that the better compensation capability of an AO system does not mean better correction effectiveness.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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