Abstract

Classical adaptive optics (AO) is now a widespread technique for high-resolution imaging with astronomical ground-based telescopes. It generally uses simple and efficient control algorithms. Multiconjugate adaptive optics (MCAO) is a more recent and very promising technique that should extend the corrected field of view. This technique has not yet been experimentally validated, but simulations already show its high potential. The importance for MCAO of an optimal reconstruction using turbulence spatial statistics has already been demonstrated through open-loop simulations. We propose an optimal closed-loop control law that accounts for both spatial and temporal statistics. The prior information on the turbulence, as well as on the wave-front sensing noise, is expressed in a state-space model. The optimal phase estimation is then given by a Kalman filter. The equations describing the system are given and the underlying assumptions explained. The control law is then derived. The gain brought by this approach is demonstrated through MCAO numerical simulations representative of astronomical observation on a 8-m-class telescope in the near infrared. We also discuss the application of this control approach to classical AO. Even in classical AO, the technique could be relevant especially for future extreme AO systems.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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