27 July 2016 Novel algorithm implementations in DARC: the Durham AO real-time controller
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The Durham AO Real-time Controller has been used on-sky with the CANARY AO demonstrator instrument since 2010, and is also used to provide control for several AO test-benches, including DRAGON. Over this period, many new real-time algorithms have been developed, implemented and demonstrated, leading to performance improvements for CANARY. Additionally, the computational performance of this real-time system has continued to improve. Here, we provide details about recent updates and changes made to DARC, and the relevance of these updates, including new algorithms, to forthcoming AO systems. We present the computational performance of DARC when used on different hardware platforms, including hardware accelerators, and determine the relevance and potential for ELT scale systems.

Recent updates to DARC have included algorithms to handle elongated laser guide star images, including correlation wavefront sensing, with options to automatically update references during AO loop operation. Additionally, sub-aperture masking options have been developed to increase signal to noise ratio when operating with non-symmetrical wavefront sensor images. The development of end-user tools has progressed with new options for configuration and control of the system. New wavefront sensor camera models and DM models have been integrated with the system, increasing the number of possible hardware configurations available, and a fully open-source AO system is now a reality, including drivers necessary for commercial cameras and DMs.

The computational performance of DARC makes it suitable for ELT scale systems when implemented on suitable hardware. We present tests made on different hardware platforms, along with the strategies taken to optimise DARC for these systems.
© (2016) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Alastair Basden, Alastair Basden, Urban Bitenc, Urban Bitenc, David Jenkins, David Jenkins, "Novel algorithm implementations in DARC: the Durham AO real-time controller", Proc. SPIE 9909, Adaptive Optics Systems V, 99094R (27 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2231622; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2231622


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