Journal of the European Optical Society - Rapid publications, Vol 8 (2013)

A direct comparison between a MEMS deformable mirror and a liquid crystal spatial light modulator in signal-based wavefront sensing

A. R. Jewel, V. Akondi, B. Vohnsen


Aberrations degrade the performance of optical systems in terms of resolution and signal-to-noise ratio. This work explores the feasibility of a signal-based wavefront sensor, which employs a search algorithm to estimate Zernike coefficients of given aberrations. The search algorithm was supported by Gaussian interpolation. The performance of two different reflective wavefront correctors, a deformable mirror and a spatial light modulator in signal-based wavefront sensing, was compared under identical conditions. The aberrations were introduced by using another identical high resolution reflecting spatial light modulator. The performance was quantified using the Strehl ratio, which was estimated from simultaneously acquired Hartmann-Shack measurements of Zernike coefficients. We find that the spatial light modulator can be a good alternative to the deformable mirror in terms of dynamic range and sensitivity, when speed is not a limiting factor. Distinct advantages of the spatial light modulator are high number of pixels and a larger active area.

© The Authors. All rights reserved. [DOI: 10.2971/jeos.2013.13073]

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