Abstract

The use of predetection compensation for the effects of atmospheric turbulence combined with postdetection image processing for imaging applications with large telescopes is addressed. Full and partial predetection compensation with adaptive optics is implemented by varying the number of actuators in the deformable mirror. The theoretical expression for the single-frame power spectrum signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is reevaluated for the compensated case to include the statistics of the compensated optical transfer function. Critical to this analysis is the observation that the compensated optical transfer function does not behave as a circularly complex Gaussian random variable except at high spatial frequencies. Results from a parametric study of performance are presented to demonstrate improvements in power spectrum estimation for both point sources and an extended object and improvements in the Fourier phase spectrum estimation for an extended object. Full compensation is shown to provide a large improvement in the power spectrum SNR over the uncompensated case, while successively smaller amounts of predetection compensation provide smaller improvements, until a low degree of compensation gives results essentially identical to those of the uncompensated case. Three regions of performance were found with respect to the object Fourier phase spectrum estimate obtained from bispectrum postprocessing: (1) the fully compensated case in which bispectrum postprocessing provides no improvement in the phase estimate over that obtained from a fully compensated long-exposure image, (2) a partially compensated regime in which applying bispectrum postprocessing to the compensated images provides a phase spectrum estimation superior to that of the uncompensated bispectrum case, and (3) a poorly compensated regime in which the results are essentially indistinguishable from those of the uncompensated case. Accurate simulations were used to obtain some parameters for the power spectrum SNR analysis and to obtain the Fourier phase spectrum results.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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