We have developed an active optical imaging system capable of correcting optical wave-front errors in real time at frequencies in the kilohertz range. Wave-front errors due to atmospheric turbulence in the propagation path, as well as optical figure aberrations and wave-front errors due to mechanical and thermal changes may be compensated. The system used an ac shearing interferometer, a parallel analog data processor, and a monolithic piezoelectric active mirror arranged in a closed-loop configuration. This compensation system can be applied to apertures of any size; experimental results are shown for a system with 21 correction zones.
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