A COMPACT, REAL-TIME ADAPTIVE OPTICAL SYSTEM FOR ASTRONOMICAL IMAGING

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$50,000.00
Award Year:
1988
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
7561
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Optron Systems Inc
3 Preston Court, Bedford, MA, 01730
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
ROBERT F DILLON
() -
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
GROUND-BASED ASTRONOMICAL IMAGING IS LIMITED BY THE POOR SEEING CONDITIONS THAT RESULT FROM ATMOSPHERIC TURBULENCE IN THE VIEWING PATH. MULTIPLE-MIRROR AND SEGMENTED-MIRROR TELESCOPES REQUIRE ACTIVE OPTICAL WAVEFRONT CONTROL TO OBTAIN THE MAXIMAL RESOLVING POWER AVAILABLE FROM THEIR SYNTHETIC APERTURES. UNFORTUNATELY, TRADITIONAL ADAPTIVE OPTICAL SYSTEMS HAVE DEMONSTRATED POOR SCALABILITY TO LARGERAPERTURE SIZES AND HAVE PROVED TO BE TOO COSTLY AND UNRELIABLE FOR USE IN SOLVING THESE TWO SIGNIFICANT PROBLEMS. WE HAVE TAKEN A FRESH LOOK AT THE ADAPTIVE OPTICS PROBLEM AND THIS PROPOSAL DESCRIBES A COMPLETELY NEW APPROACH TO ADAPTIVE WAVEFRONT CORRECTION FOR ASTRONOMY. THE SYSTEM PROPOSED HERE IS COMPACT (BREADBOX-SIZED), OPERATES WITH PASSIVE, INCOHERENT AND BROADBAND ILLUMINATION AND, PERFORMS REAL-TIME WAVEFRONT MEASUREMENT AND PHASE CORRECTION AT UPDATE RATES APPROACHING 1KHZ. IT IS ALL-OPTICAL IN DESIGN, HENCE LARGE RACKS OF ELECTONIC PROCESSORS ARE NOT REQUIRED. IT IS SCALABLE TO TENS OF THOUSANDS OF INDEPENDENT CORRECTION POINTS ACROSS THE TELESCOPE'S PUPIL (SUBAPERTURES), AND, WE ESTIMATE THAT IT CAN BE BUILT IN SMALL QUANTITIES FOR APPROXIMATELY $50K.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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