A critical component of an active optical-compensation system is the formable mirror or other phase corrector. Because the corrector will have a finite number of controllable elements, it cannot perfectly correct a distorted wave front and the resulting error must be evaluated to model and design the system properly. This paper presents the full theory of the phase corrector in two common situations: one, where a particular known type of distortion such as focus or coma is to be corrected, and two, where the distortion is a random function of position, such as might arise from atmospheric turbulence. Results for a typical corrector are presented for both situations.
© 1977 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article