We report on the development of wavefront reconstruction and control algorithms for multiconjugate adaptive optics (MCAO) and the results of testing them in the laboratory under conditions that simulate an 8 meter class telescope. The University of California Observatories (UCO) Lick Observatory Laboratory for Adaptive Optics multiconjugate testbed allows us to test wide-field-of-view adaptive optics systems as they might be instantiated in the near future on giant telescopes. In particular, we have been investigating the performance of MCAO using five laser beacons for wavefront sensing and a minimum-variance algorithm for control of two conjugate deformable mirrors. We have demonstrated improved Strehl ratio and enlarged field-of-view performance when compared to conventional AO techniques. We have demonstrated improved MCAO performance with the implementation of a routine that minimizes the generalized isoplanatism when turbulent layers do not correspond to deformable mirror conjugate altitudes. Finally, we have demonstrated suitability of the system for closed loop operation when configured to feed back conditional mean estimates of wavefront residuals rather than the directly measured residuals. This technique has recently been referred to as the “pseudo-open-loop” control law in the literature.
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