Several trade-offs relevant to the design of a two-dimensional high-speed Shack–Hartmann wavefront sensor are presented. Also outlined are some simple preliminary experiments that can be used to establish critical design specifications not already known. These specifications include angular uncertainty, maximum measurable wavefront tilt, and spatial resolution. A generic design procedure is then introduced to enable the adaptation of a limited selection of CCD cameras and lenslet arrays to the desired design specifications by use of commercial off-the-shelf optics. Although initially developed to aid in the design of high-speed (i.e., megahertz-frame-rate) Shack–Hartmann wavefront sensors, our method also works when used for slower CCD cameras. A design example of our procedure is provided.
© 2006 Optical Society of America
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