Large segmented mirrors require efficient co-phasing techniques in order to avoid the image degradation due to segments
misalignment. DIPSI (Diffraction Image Phase Sensing Instrument) is an instrument developed by IAC, GRANTECAN
and LAM. This instrument is being integrated in the Active Phasing Experiment (APE), aimed at testing different
phasing techniques for an Extremely Large Telescope. This paper describes the mathematical solution for determining
piston and tip-tilt simultaneously from the DIPSI images. A complete set of simulations is included to study the residual
errors. Residual errors are bigger when piston and tip-tilt are combined (three degrees of freedom).
Large segmented mirrors require efficient co-phasing techniques in order to avoid the image degradation due to segments misalignment. For this purpose in the last few years new co-phasing techniques have been developed in collaboration with several European institutes. The Active Phasing Experiment (APE) will be a technical instrument aimed at testing different phasing techniques for an Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). A mirror composed of 61 hexagonal segments will be conjugated to the primary mirror of the VLT (Very Large Telescope). Each segment can be moved in piston, tip and tilt. Three new types of co-phasing sensors dedicated to the measurement of segmentation errors will be tested, evaluated and compared: ZEUS (Zernike Unit for Segment phasing) developed by LAM and IAC, PYPS (PYramid Phase Sensor) developed by INAF/ARCETRI, and DIPSI (Diffraction Image Phase Sensing Instrument) developed by IAC, GRANTECAN and LAM. This experiment will first run in the laboratory with point-like polychromatic sources and a turbulence generator. In a second step, it will be mounted at the Nasmyth platform focus of a VLT unit telescope. This paper describes the scientific concept of DIPSI, its optomechanical design, the signal analysis to retrieve segment piston and tip-tilt, the multiwavelength algorithm to increase the capture range, and the multiple segmentation case, including both simulation and laboratory tests results.
The point spread function of a segmented aperture is seriously affected by the misalignment of the segments. Stringent requirements apply to position sensors and their calibration. The Active Phasing Experiment (APE) will be a technical instrument aimed at testing possible phasing techniques for a European Giant Optical Telescope (EGOT) in a representative environment. It will also integrate simultaneous control of segmented and monolithic, active surfaces. A mirror composed of 61 hexagonal segments is conjugated to the primary mirror of the VLT. Each segment can be moved in piston, tip and tilt and can be controlled in open or closed loop. Three new types of Phasing Wave Front Sensors dedicated to the measurement of segmentation errors will be tested, evaluated and compared: a modified Mach-Zehnder sensor developed by the LAM and ESO, a Pyramid Sensor developed by Arcetri, and a Curvature Sensor developed by IAC. A reference metrology developed by FOGALE will be added to measure directly the deformation of the segmented mirror and check the efficiency of the tested wavefront sensors. This metrology will be based on a synthetic wavelength instantaneous phase stepping method. This experiment will first run in the laboratory with point-like polychromatic sources and a turbulence generator. In a second step, it will be mounted at a Nasmyth focus of a VLT unit telescope. These activities are included in a proposal to the European Commission for funding within Framework Program 6.
The current designs of the majority of ELTs envisage that at least the primary mirror will be segmented. Phasing of the segments is therefore a major concern, and a lot of work is underway to determine the most suitable techniques. The techniques which have been developed are either wave optics generalizations of classical geometric optics tests (e.g. Shack-Hartmann and curvature sensing) or direct interferometric measurements. We present a review of the main techniques proposed for phasing and outline their relative merits. We consider problems which are specific to ELTs, e.g. vignetting of large parts of the primary mirror by the secondary mirror spiders, and the need to disentangle phase errors arising in different segmented mirrors. We present improvements in the Shack-Hartmann and curvature sensing techniques which allow greater precision and range. Finally, we describe a piston plate which simulates segment phasing errors and show the results of laboratory experiments carried out to verify the precision of the Shack-Hartmann technique.