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25 October 2004 Extreme adaptive optics testbed: results and future work
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"Extreme" adaptive optics systems are optimized for ultra-high-contrast applications, such as ground-based extrasolar planet detection. The Extreme Adaptive Optics Testbed at UC Santa Cruz is being used to investigate and develop technologies for high-contrast imaging, especially wavefront control. A simple optical design allows us to minimize wavefront error and maximize the experimentally achievable contrast before progressing to a more complex set-up. A phase shifting diffraction interferometer is used to measure wavefront errors with sub-nm precision and accuracy. We have demonstrated RMS wavefront errors of <1.3 nm and a contrast of >10-7 over a substantial region using a shaped pupil. Current work includes the installation and characterization of a 1024-actuator Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS) deformable mirror, manufactured by Boston Micro-Machines, which will be used for wavefront control. In our initial experiments we can flatten the deformable mirror to 1.8-nm RMS wavefront error within a control radius of 5-13 cycles per aperture. Ultimately this testbed will be used to test all aspects of the system architecture for an extrasolar planet-finding AO system.
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Julia Wilhelmsen Evans, Gary Sommargren, Lisa Poyneer, Bruce A. Macintosh, Scott Severson, Daren Dillon, Andrew I. Sheinis, Dave Palmer, N. Jeremy Kasdin, and Scot Olivier "Extreme adaptive optics testbed: results and future work", Proc. SPIE 5490, Advancements in Adaptive Optics, (25 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.551762;

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