Abstract

First multiconjugate adaptive-optical (MCAO) systems are currently being installed on solar telescopes. The aim of these systems is to increase the corrected field of view with respect to conventional adaptive optics. However, this first generation is based on a star-oriented approach, and it is then difficult to increase the size of the field of view beyond 60–80 arc sec in diameter. We propose to implement the layer-oriented approach in solar MCAO systems by use of wide-field Shack–Hartmann wavefront sensors conjugated to the strongest turbulent layers. The wavefront distortions are averaged over a wide field: the signal from distant turbulence is attenuated and the tomographic reconstruction is thus done optically. The system consists of independent correction loops, which only need to account for local turbulence: the subapertures can be enlarged and the correction frequency reduced. Most importantly, a star-oriented MCAO system becomes more complex with increasing field size, while the layer-oriented approach benefits from larger fields and will therefore be an attractive solution for the future generation of solar MCAO systems.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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