Curvature sensors are used to measure wave-front aberrations in a number of different applications ranging from adaptive optics to optical testing. In practice, their performance is limited not only by the quality of the detector used for irradiance measurements but also by the separation between measurement planes used for the calculation of the axial derivative of intensity. This work resolves the problem of determining the separation between intensity measurement planes thus optimizing the variance in experimental measurements. To do this, the variance of the local curvature of the phase will be analyzed as a function of the noise level in the measurements and the separation between planes. Moreover, error bounds will be established for experimental measurements.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
Equations on this page are rendered with MathJax. Learn more.