Validating advanced wavefront control techniques on the SCExAO testbed/instrument

Olivier Guyon, Julien Lozi, Sebastien Vievard, Ruslan Belikov, Eduardo Bendek, Steven Bos, Thayne Currie, Vincent Deo, Michael Fitzgerald, Damien Gratadour, Tyler Groff, Nemanja Jovanovic, Hajime Kawahara, Takayuki Kotani, Tomoyuki Kudo, Coline Lopez, Hatem Ltaief, Jared Males, Frantz Martinache, Marc Antoine MartinodBenjamin A. Mazin, Kelsey Miller, Barnaby Norris, Mamadou Ndiaye, Eugene Pluzhnyk, Ananya Sahoo, Arnaud Sevin, Nour Skaf, Frans Snik, Motohide Tamura, Alison Wong

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

3 Scopus citations


The Subaru Coronagraphic Extreme Adaptive Optics (SCExAO) serves both a science instrument in operation, and a prototyping platform for integrating and validating advanced wavefront control techniques. It provides a modular hardware and software environment optimized for flexible prototyping, reducing the time from concept formulation to on-sky operation and validation. This approach also enables external research group to deploy and test new hardware and algorithms. The hardware architecture allows for multiple subsystems to run concurrently, sharing starlight by means of dichroics. The multiplexing lends itself to running parallel experiments simultaneously, and developing sensor fusion approaches for increased wavefront sensing sensitivity and reliability. Thanks to a modular realtime control software architecture designed around the CACAO package, users can deploy WFS/C routines with full low-latency access to all cameras data streams. Algorithms can easily be shared with other cacao-based AO systems at Magellan (MagAO-X) and Keck. We highlight recent achievements and ongoing activities that are particularly relevant to the development of high contrast imaging instruments for future large ground-based telescopes (ELT, TMT, GMT) and space telescopes (HabEx, LUVOIR). These include predictive control and sensor fusion, PSF reconstruction from AO telemetry, integrated coronagraph/WFS development, focal plane speckle control with photon counting MKIDS camera, and fiber interferometry. We also describe upcoming upgrades to the WFS/C architecture: a new 64x64 actuator first stage DM, deployment of a beam switcher for concurrent operation of SCExAO with other science instruments, and the ULTIMATE upgrade including deployment of multiple LGS WFSs and an adaptive secondary mirror.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdaptive Optics Systems VII
EditorsLaura Schreiber, Dirk Schmidt, Elise Vernet
ISBN (Electronic)9781510636835
StatePublished - 2020
EventAdaptive Optics Systems VII 2020 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Dec 14 2020Dec 22 2020

Publication series

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


ConferenceAdaptive Optics Systems VII 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online


  • Adaptive Optics
  • Atmospheric Turbulence
  • High Contrast Imaging
  • Wavefront Sensing

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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