Limits of Adaptive Optics for High Contrast Imaging

  • Guyon O
  • 22


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.


The effects of photon noise, aliasing, wave front chromaticity, and scintillation on the point-spread function (PSF) contrast achievable with ground-based adaptive optics (AO) are evaluated for different wave front sensing schemes. I show that a wave front sensor (WFS) based on the Zernike phase contrast technique offers the best sensitivity to photon noise at all spatial frequencies, while the Shack-Hartmann WFS is significantly less sensitive. In AO systems performing wave front sensing in the visible and scientific imaging in the near-IR, the PSF contrast limit is set by the scintillation chromaticity induced by Fresnel propagation through the atmosphere. On an 8 m telescope, the PSF contrast is then limited to 10-4 to 10-5 in the central arcsecond. Wave front sensing and scientific imaging should therefore be done at the same wavelength, in which case, on bright sources, PSF contrasts between 10-6 and 10-7 can be achieved within 1'' on an 8 m telescope in optical/near-IR. The impact of atmospheric turbulence parameters (seeing, wind speed, turbulence profile) on the PSF contrast is quantified. I show that a focal plane wave front sensing scheme offers unique advantages, and I discuss how to implement it. Coronagraphic options are also briefly discussed.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Olivier Guyon

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free