Abstract

Multiple laser backscatter references (or guide stars) and optimal processing of the data are used to extend the useful diameter that is obtained with the use of a single laser backscatter reference for imaging at infinite conjugates. The results illustrate that the mean-square error in the estimated wave-front distortion E2 is proportional to D5/3, where D is the telescope diameter. For all the cases that are considered the results are expressible in the form E2 = (D/d0)5/3, where the quantity d0 is a measure of the useful diameter of the telescope. When nine references are used d0 is triple the value that would be achieved with a single reference when a backscatter altitude of 20 km is used. The results illustrate the impact of varying the altitude, changing the number of refrences, having references at two altitudes, and introducing reference-position uncertainty.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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