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High-speed horizontal-path atmospheric turbulence correction with a large-actuator-number microelectromechanical system spatial light modulator in an interferometric phase-conjugation engine

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Abstract

Results of atmospheric propagation for a high-speed, large-actuator-number adaptive optics system are presented. The system uses a microelectromechanical system- (MEMS-) based spatial light modulator correction device with 1024 actuators. Tests over a 1.35-km path achieved correction speeds in excess of 800 Hz and Strehl ratios close to 0.5. The wave-front sensor was based on a quadrature interferometer that directly measures phase. This technique does not require global wave-front reconstruction, making it relatively insensitive to scintillation and phase residues. The results demonstrate the potential of large-actuator-number MEMS-based spatial light modulators to replace conventional deformable mirrors.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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