Abstract

In this paper, we describe a zonal wavefront sensor in which the photodetector array can have a smaller number of rows. The test wavefront is incident on a two-dimensional array of diffraction gratings followed by a single focusing lens. The periodicity and the orientation of the grating rulings of each grating can be chosen such that the +1 order beam from the gratings forms an array of focal spots in the detector plane. We show that by using a square array of zones, it is possible to generate an array of +1 order focal spots having a smaller number of rows, thus reducing the height of the required detector array. The phase profile of the test wavefront can be estimated by measuring the displacements of the +1 order focal spots for the test wavefront relative to the +1 order focal spots for a plane reference wavefront. The narrower width of the photodetector array can offer several advantages, such as a faster frame rate of the wavefront sensor, a reduced amount of cross talk between the nearby detector zones, and a decrease in the maximum thermal noise. We also present experimental results of a proof-of-concept experimental arrangement using the proposed wavefront sensing scheme.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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