A Shack–Hartmann wavefront sensor (SWHS) splits the incident wavefront into many subsections and transfers the distorted wavefront detection into the centroid measurement. The accuracy of the centroid measurement determines the accuracy of the SWHS. Many methods have been presented to improve the accuracy of the wavefront centroid measurement. However, most of these methods are discussed from the point of view of optics, based on the assumption that the spot intensity of the SHWS has a Gaussian distribution, which is not applicable to the digital SHWS. In this paper, we present a centroid measurement algorithm based on the adaptive thresholding and dynamic windowing method by utilizing image processing techniques for practical application of the digital SHWS in surface profile measurement. The method can detect the centroid of each focal spot precisely and robustly by eliminating the influence of various noises, such as diffraction of the digital SHWS, unevenness and instability of the light source, as well as deviation between the centroid of the focal spot and the center of the detection area. The experimental results demonstrate that the algorithm has better precision, repeatability, and stability compared with other commonly used centroid methods, such as the statistical averaging, thresholding, and windowing algorithms.
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