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Chapter 7:
Computers That Shouldn’t Crash
Abstract
Wavefront reconstructors are one of the three major subsystems of an adaptive optics system. Wavefront reconstructors sound like they should be massive machines that roll up and down the beach to make sure surfers and bathers have the time of their life. What wavefront reconstructors actually are is not as exciting as the scene just described. They are simply computer‐like things that take the measurements of the wavefront sensor and get it ready to create a correction for the distorted beam of light with a deformable mirror. In some cases, they are pretty complicated computers, working blazingly fast. In other cases, they are simply wires that hook the wavefront sensor to the deformable mirror. Even though it’s not the order in which the adaptive optics subsystems go together, it’s never easy to discuss the reconstructors before a lesson about how deformable mirrors work. If I reversed the chapters and discussed reconstructors first, then you would have Chapter 7 in front of Chapter 6 and it would make sense, but really confuse the copy editors. I choose not to confuse the copy editors; they always have the last word.
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CHAPTER 7
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