Visible and near-infrared laboratory demonstration of a simplified pyramid wavefront sensor

Julien Lozi, Nemanja Jovanovic, Olivier Guyon, Mark Chun, Shane Jacobson, Sean Goebel, Frantz Martinache

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Wavefront sensing and control are important for enabling one of the key advantages of using large apertures, namely higher angular resolution. Pyramid wavefront sensors are becoming commonplace in new instrument designs owing to their superior sensitivity. However, one remaining roadblock to their widespread use is the fabrication of the pyramidal optic. This complex optic is challenging to fabricate due to the pyramid tip, where four planes need to intersect at a single point. Thus far, only a handful of these have been produced due to the low yields and long lead times. To address this, we present an alternative implementation of the pyramid wavefront sensor which relies instead on two roof prisms. Such prisms are easy and inexpensive to source. We demonstrate the successful operation of the roof prism pyramid wavefront sensor on an 8 m class telescope, at visible and near-infrared wavelengths, for the first time using a SAPHIRA HgCdTe detector without modulation for a laboratory demonstration, and elucidate how this sensor can be used more widely on wavefront control test benches and instruments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044503
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number998
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • Adaptive Optics
  • Astronomical instrumentation
  • Extrasolar Planets
  • High-contrast Imaging
  • Pyramid Wavefront Sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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