Astrophysics (index)about

adaptive optics

(AO, adaptive-optics)
(optical instruments that dynamically adapt to atmospheric distortion)

The term adaptive optics (AO) indicates systems that correct distortions from the atmosphere using input from a sensor that measures the distortion. Typically, the sensor tracks the distortion (e.g., slight mislocation) of a known fixed source, e.g., a star or even the light reflected from a laser used to provide a source. The source light must be near the line-of-sight to the object under observation. The same distortion presumably affects objects in that area of the celestial sphere, including the observation target.

Some current and planned telescopes using adaptive optics:

Multi-conjugate AO is adaptive optics that is specifically designed to correct for distortion at multiple distances from the telescope.


Referenced by:
Airy disk
Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT)
coherent light
diffraction limited
deformable mirror (DM)
European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT)
extremely large telescope (ELT)
European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope (ESO VLT)
extreme adaptive optics (ExAO)
Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT)
Gemini Planet Imager (GPI)
Hale Telescope
Keck Observatory
Large Binocular Telescope (LBT)
lucky imaging
Magellan Telescopes
New Technology Telescope (NTT)
Overwhelmingly Large Telescope (OWL)
speckle suppression
Strehl ratio
Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)
wavefront sensor
wavefront error (WFE)
William Herschel Telescope (WHT)