By varying the shape of the deformable mirror (DM) to introduce Zernike aberration coefficients through a reasonable range of values, the images produced were read out on the NIRI detector and analyzed for Strehl ratio. Fitting a second-order polynomial to this data set gave an optimized value for each coefficient out to Z49. The Strehl ratio was improved by 6% +/- 2% and the Z5 (45° astigmatism) term showed the only appreciable error contribution to the current NCPA offset of 0.15μm in k-prime (2.12μm). Aside from resulting in a slight improvement in image quality, the technique developed is non-invasive and will be implemented in other instruments and cameras that typically couple with Altair and have outdated or erroneous NCPA files currently. Furthermore, some high spatial-frequency structure in the PSF was found that limited the effect of these corrections, and may be a key component in further investigations towards image quality degradation in Altair + NIRI.
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Jesse G. Ball, Olivier Lai, Chadwick Trujillo, John White, "Correction of NIRI/ Altair non-common path aberrations using focal plane sharpening," Proc. SPIE 9909, Adaptive Optics Systems V, 990968 (27 July 2016);