We give an overview of the Adaptive Optics (AO) and Multi-conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO) system of the
planned 4m European Solar Telescope (EST). The parameter space and the problems of solar MCAO working
in the visible are explained. The wavefront reconstruction schemes presently being considered are explained.
First estimates of the expected MCAO performance for varying parameter sets are given.
A consortium of more than 20 European solar physics institution from 15 different countries is conducting a design
study for a 4 m class solar telescope which shall be situated at the Canary Islands. In this paper we introduce the AO and
MCAO design concept for EST. A ground layer deformable mirror is combined with an arrangement of four deformable
layer mirrors. A combination of Shack-Hartmann wave front sensors with wide and narrow fields of view is used to
control the system and to achieve a corrected field of view of one arcmin.
We report on the use of a new joint phase diverse speckle code, an implementation of a method where a single object and individual phases are estimated from several pairs of phase diverse data. The code was used on 430.5 nm G-band data collected with the newly installed Swedish 1-meter solar telescope in La Palma, equipped with a low-order adaptive optics system. We describe the algorithm briefly, show wavefront statistics and object estimates from the processing and discuss the results. We demonstrate a resolution of 0.12 arc seconds for a time sequence and a large field of view, which is a break-through for ground based solar telescopes.
The 1-meter Swedish solar telescope is a new solar telescope that was put in operation on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands at the end of May 2002. The goal of this telescope is to reach its diffraction limited resolution of 0.1 arcsec in blue light. This has already been achieved by use of a low-order adaptive optics (AO)system. This paper describes the AO system initially developed for the former 50-cm Swedish Vacuum Solar Telescope (SVST) and further improved for the new telescope. Both systems use a combination of bimorph modal mirrors and Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensors. Unique to these systems are that they rely on a single workstation or a PC to do all the computations required to extract and pre-process the images, measure their positions using cross correlation techniques and for controlling the deformable mirror. This is in the present system possible by using the PERR instruction available on Compaq's Alpha architecture and in the new system using the PSADDBW instruction, available on Pentium 4 and Athlon processors. We describe both these systems with an emphasis on the performance, the ease of support and upgrades of performance.
We also describe the optimization of the electrode geometry for the new 37-electrode bimorph mirror, supplied by AOPTIX Technologies, Inc., for controlling Karhunen--Loeve modes. Expected performance, based on closed-loop simulations, is discussed.
The Phase Diverse Speckle (PDS) problem is formulated mathematically as Multi Frame Blind Deconvolution (MFBD) together with a set of Linear Equality Constraints (LECs) on the wavefront expansion parameters. This MFBD--LEC formulation is quite general and, in addition to PDS, it allows the same code to handle a variety of different data collection schemes specified as data, the LECs, rather than in the code. It also relieves us from having to derive new expressions for the gradient of the wavefront parameter vector for each type of data set. The idea is first presented with a simple formulation that accommodates Phase Diversity, Phase Diverse Speckle, and Shack--Hartmann wavefront sensing. Then various generalizations are discussed, that allows many other types of data sets to be handled.
Background: Unless auxiliary information is used, the Blind Deconvolution problem for a single frame is not well posed because the object and PSF information in a data frame cannot be separated. There are different ways of bringing auxiliary information to bear on the problem. MFBD uses several frames which helps somewhat, because the solutions are constrained by a requirement that the object be the same, but is often not enough to get useful results without further constraints. One class of MFBD methods constrain the solutions by requiring that the PSFs correspond to wavefronts over a certain pupil geometry, expanded in a finite basis. This is an effective approach but there is still a problem of uniqueness in that different phases can give the same PSF. Phase Diversity and the more general PDS methods are special cases of this class of MFBD, where the observations are usually arranged so that in-focus data is collected together with intentionally defocused data, where information on the object is sacrificed for more information on the aberrations. The known differences and similarities between the phases are used to get better estimates.
We present a novel and fast method for utilizing wavefront information in closed-loop phase-diverse image data. We form a 2D object-independent error function using the images at different focus positions together with OTFs of the diffraction limited system. Each coefficient in an expansion of the wavefront is estimated quickly and independently by calculating the inner produce of a corresponding predictor function and the error function. This operation is easy to parallelize. The main computational burden is in pre- processing, when the predictors are formed. This makes this method fast and therefore attractive for closed loop operation. Calculating the predictors involves error function derivatives with respect to the wavefront parameters, statistics of the parameters, noise levels and other known characteristics of the optical system. The predictors are optimized so that the RMS error in the wavefront parameters is minimized rather than consistency between estimated quantities with image data. We present simulation results that are relevant to the phasing of segmented mirrors in a space telescope, such as the NGST.
Wavefront sensing in monochromatic light is insensitive to segment piston errors that are a whole number of waves. If the wavefront sensing is performed in several wavelengths, this ambiguity can be resolved. We give an algorithm for finding the correct phase, given multiple measurements in different wavelengths. Using this algorithm, the capture range of a wavefront sensor can be extended from on the order of +/- (lambda) /2 in piston to several waves. This relaxes the demands on an initial, coarse alignment method. The extended capture range depends on the selection of wavelengths available for phase measurements and the expected accuracy of the wavefront sensing method used.
The microprocessors used in off-the-shelf workstations double in performance every eighteen months. The Swedish Vacuum Solar Tower (SVST) uses off-the-shelf workstations for all aspects of its on-line telescope control and data acquisition. Since 1995 workstation performance has been adequate for a correlation tracker of solar granulation controlling a tip- tilt corrector. In 2000 workstation performance permits the construction of a 20 - 50 subimage Shack-Hartmann based low- latency adaptive optics system. It is argued that workstations provide a cost-effective, upgradable, low-risk and flexible means of construction of stellar and solar adaptive optics systems. We give an overview of the adaptive optics system installed at the SVST in May 1999. The system uses a bimorph modal mirror with 19 electrodes from Laplacian Optics. For use with extended targets, such as solar fine structure, cross- correlations with 16 X 16-pixel sub-images are used. For use with point sources, a centroiding algorithm is implemented. The work station used is capable of completing all processing required by the adaptive optics system in 0.5 ms (cross-correlations) or 0.3 ms (centroiding), with potential for significant performance improvements.
We show with simulation experiments that closed-loop phase- diversity can be used without numerical guard-bands for wavefront sensing of low-order wavefronts from extended objects using broad-band filters. This may allow real-time correction at high bandwidth for certain applications. We also present a proper maximum likelihood treatment of Shack- Hartmann data, which includes an imaging model to extract curvature information from the lenslet images. We demonstrate by simple simulations that this approach should allow higher-order wavefront information to be extracted than with traditional Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensing for a given number of lenslets.
We are developing a technique to measure segment misalignment of large telescopes based on wavefront estimation using phase-diverse images. We report the current results of an experiment to measure piston errors on the Keck II primary segmented mirror, through atmospheric turbulence, using phase-diverse phase retrieval. The segment piston errors are separated from the random turbulence by averaging phase estimates from many frames. Phase estimates from real data collected with segments intentionally moved in piston reproduce the observed speckle patterns well. However, average phase maps do not reveal the segment piston errors. Simulations show that the observed data were collected in a regime of turbulence where the current algorithm often fails, but would be expected to work very well when the adaptive optics system is operating. There is reason to believe that we can eventually make the algorithm work with these or similar data if apparent mismatches between the data and our current imaging model are removed.
We have implemented a least-squares technique for recovering phase information and alignment parameters from simultaneously obtained focused and defocused solar images. Small subfields are used, in order to deal with anisoplanatism. The method is applied to sequences of 100 8-bit solar granulation images. These data enable a number of consistency tests, all of which demonstrate that the technique works. Alignment parameters derived from averaged images in a sequence are highly consistent and wavefronts derived from different subfields and different sequences recorded close in time are virtually identical. The wavefronts derived from averaged images are also virtually identical to the average of wavefronts derived from individual images. These aberrations vary with time in a way which is consistent with a major contribution from the moving elements of the alt-az tower telescope. Independently derived wavefronts from single images show high correlation between neighboring subfields and smooth variations across large fields-of-view, consistent with the impression that the image quality is more or less uniform across the image. Restored images in a sequence show a high degree of consistency and much more fine structure than the corresponding observed images.