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Wave-front reconstruction from defocused images and the testing of ground-based optical telescopes

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Abstract

A new method has been developed for testing the optical quality of ground-based telescopes. Aberrations are estimated from wideband long-exposure defocused stellar images recorded with current astronomical CCD cameras. An iterative algorithm is used that simulates closed-loop wave-front compensation in adaptive optics. Compared with the conventional Hartmann test, the new method is easier to implement, has similar accuracy, and provides a higher spatial resolution on the reconstructed wave front. It has been applied to several astronomical telescopes and has been found to be a powerful diagnostic tool for improving image quality.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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