We present a design improvement for a recently proposed type of Shack–Hartmann wavefront sensor that uses a cylindrical (lenticular) lenslet array. The improved sensor design uses optical binning and requires significantly fewer detector pixels than the corresponding conventional or cylindrical Shack–Hartmann sensor, and so detector readout noise causes less signal degradation. Additionally, detector readout time is significantly reduced, which reduces the latency for closed loop systems and data processing requirements. We provide simple analytical noise considerations and Monte Carlo simulations, we show that the optically binned Shack–Hartmann sensor can offer better performance than the conventional counterpart in most practical situations, and our design is particularly suited for use with astronomical adaptive optics systems.
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