New modal wavefront sensor: a theoretical analysis

J Opt. Soc. Am. A, Vol. 17, No. 6, June 2000, 1098-1107. M.A.A. Neil, M.J. Booth & T. Wilson

We present a new design of a modal wave-front sensor capable of measuring directly the Zernike componentsof an aberrated wave front. The sensor shows good linearity for small aberration amplitudes and is particularlysuitable for integration in a closed-loop adaptive system. We introduce a sensitivity matrix and showthat it is sparse, and we derive conditions specifying which elements are necessarily zero. The sensor may betemporally or spatially multiplexed, the former using a reconfigurable optical element, the latter using a numericallyoptimized binary optical element. Different optimization schemes are discussed, and their performanceis compared.
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