Over the past decade adaptive optics (AO) has proved its worth as AO systems have been used successfully on several telescopes to improve image resolution. As scientists and engineers push the technological state of the art in an effort to make bigger, faster, and better systems, it has become more and more important to test and verify the operation of these systems in a controlled laboratory setting. To perform full-system tests in the presence of atmospheric turbulence, some sort of turbulence generator is needed. We describe a simple, low-cost approach to making static phase plates that generate atmosphericlike wave-front aberrations. These plates have several advantages over traditional heated-air turbulence generators and, as such, are better suited for well-controlled, detailed testing of an AO system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering