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21 February 2003 A novel wavefront sensor for interferometry
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A new design for a wavefront sensor suitable for low-order low-light correction is shown. The hybrid modal sensor, the Nine Element (NE) sensor, is compared with a curvature sensor and quadcell under single aperture applications. The design of the NE sensor allows the use of readily-available array detectors. We discuss the optimization of the design to maximize its performance with respect to the number of Zernike polynomials to detect and optical parameters, using a simulated annealing technique. Numerical simulations show the good SNR response low-light levels, and indicate a reduction in wavefront variance from 6.41 rad2 to 2.01 rad2. The sensitivity to tip/tilt errors is demonstrated to be comparable to a quadcell. Successful closed feedback loop operation results in corrected Strehl ratios of over 0.5. Improvements and future work is discussed.
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Nazim Ali Bharmal, David F. Buscher, Christopher A. Haniff, and Justin I. Read "A novel wavefront sensor for interferometry", Proc. SPIE 4838, Interferometry for Optical Astronomy II, (21 February 2003);


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