Abstract

By “atmospheric tomography” we mean the estimation of a layered atmospheric turbulence profile from measurements of the pupil–plane phase (or phase gradients) corresponding to several different guide star directions. We introduce what we believe to be a new Fourier domain preconditioned conjugate gradient (FD-PCG) algorithm for atmospheric tomography, and we compare its performance against an existing multigrid preconditioned conjugate gradient (MG-PCG) approach. Numerical results indicate that on conventional serial computers, FD-PCG is as accurate and robust as MG-PCG, but it is from one to two orders of magnitude faster for atmospheric tomography on 30 m class telescopes. Simulations are carried out for both natural guide stars and for a combination of finite-altitude laser guide stars and natural guide stars to resolve tip–tilt uncertainty.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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