Image-stabilization systems can take on a wide range of designs ranging from very simple to extremely complex in order to accommodate the needs of a specific application. While these systems can be very diverse, all of them have a great deal in common. Image-stabilization systems are built around a sensor, a wavefront compensator, and a control system that connects these two components. The major differences between systems are often limited to the components selected and the sophistication of the controller.
In the previous chapters, the sensor and compensator components were introduced. This chapter explores the integration of these components and introduces a simple image-stabilization system. This model system can be constructed in almost any laboratory and provides a simplified example of a working tip-tilt system.
Image-stabilization systems are comprised of three main components: the wavefront sensor, the compensation device, and a control computer, which includes the electrical interfaces to read the sensor and control the compensator. Many different sensors as well as compensators are available in the commercial market so many unique image-stabilization systems can be constructed. The choice of components for a specific system is based on the intended application and its specific properties. For the most part, this is based on the operating bandwidth required to stabilize the image to the desired level.
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