Abstract

Wave-front distortion compensation using direct system performance metric optimization is studied both theoretically and experimentally. It is shown how different requirements for wave-front control can be incorporated, and how information from different wave-front sensor types can be fused, within a generalized gradient descent optimization paradigm. In our experiments a very-large-scale integration (VLSI) system implementing a simultaneous perturbation stochastic approximation optimization algorithm was applied for real-time adaptive control of multielement wave-front correctors. The custom-chip controller is used in two adaptive laser beam focusing systems, one with a 127-element liquid-crystal phase modulator and the other with beam steering and 37-control channel micromachined deformable mirrors. The submillisecond response time of the micromachined deformable mirror and the parallel nature of the analog VLSI control architecture provide for high-speed adaptive compensation of dynamical phase aberrations of a laser beam under conditions of strong intensity scintillations. Experimental results demonstrate improvement of laser beam quality at the receiver plane in the spectral band up to 60 Hz.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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