Control code for laboratory adaptive optics teaching system

Moonseob Jin, Ryan Luder, Lucas Sanchez, Michael Hart

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


By sensing and compensating wavefront aberration, adaptive optics (AO) systems have proven themselves crucial in large astronomical telescopes, retinal imaging, and holographic coherent imaging. Commercial AO systems for laboratory use are now available in the market. One such is the ThorLabs AO kit built around a Boston Micromachines deformable mirror. However, there are limitations in applying these systems to research and pedagogical projects since the software is written with limited flexibility. In this paper, we describe a MATLAB-based software suite to interface with the ThorLabs AO kit by using the MATLAB Engine API and Visual Studio. The software is designed to offer complete access to the wavefront sensor data, through the various levels of processing, to the command signals to the deformable mirror and fast steering mirror. In this way, through a MATLAB GUI, an operator can experiment with every aspect of the AO system's functioning. This is particularly valuable for tests of new control algorithms as well as to support student engagement in an academic environment. We plan to make the code freely available to the community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAstronomical Optics
Subtitle of host publicationDesign, Manufacture, and Test of Space and Ground Systems
EditorsTony B. Hull, Pascal Hallibert, Dae Wook Kim
ISBN (Electronic)9781510612594
StatePublished - Sep 7 2017
EventAstronomical Optics: Design, Manufacture, and Test of Space and Ground Systems 2017 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 6 2017Aug 10 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherAstronomical Optics: Design, Manufacture, and Test of Space and Ground Systems 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Adaptive optics
  • Control code for adaptive optics
  • MATLAB Engine
  • Optics education
  • Thorlab AO kit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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