A technique for measuring wavefront errors in an optical system that receives light from a spatially extended, arbitrarily structured, incoherent source is described. If we place a suitable transparent mask at an image plane of the system, the structure in the light source serves as a tracer for wavefront errors. The slope of the wavefront error can be detected in the form of intensity variations in a pupil image that follows the mask. One-dimensional numerical simulations of the method as well as the analytical treatment of the proposed principle are presented. The application of the technique as a wavefront sensor in an adaptive optical system for solar observations, in which aberrations are caused by atmospheric turbulence in the light path, is discussed as an example.
O. von der Luhe,
"Wavefront Error Measurement Technique Using Extended, Incoherent Light Sources," Optical Engineering 27(12), 121078 (1 December 1988). https://doi.org/10.1117/12.7978681