Pyramid wavefront sensors are planned to be a part of many instruments that are currently under development for the extremely large telescopes (ELT). The unprecedented scales of the upcoming ELT-era instruments are inevitably connected with serious challenges for wavefront reconstruction and control algorithms. Apart from the huge number of correcting elements to be controlled in real-time, real-life features such as the segmentation of the telescope pupil, the low wind effect, the nonlinearity of the pyramid sensor, and the noncommon path aberrations will have a significantly larger impact on the imaging quality in the ELT framework than they ever had before. We summarize various kinds of wavefront reconstruction algorithms for the pyramid wavefront sensor. Based on several forward models, different algorithms were developed in the last decades for linear and nonlinear wavefront correction. The core ideas of the algorithms are presented, and a detailed comparison of the presented methods with respect to underlying pyramid sensor models, computational complexities, and reconstruction qualities is given. In addition, we review the existing and possible solutions for the above-named real-life phenomena. At the same time, directions for further investigations are sketched.
An adaptive optics optical coherence tomography (AO-OCT) system with a 3-sided pyramid wavefront sensor (P-WFS) is presented. Compared to the Shack-Hartmann WFS, the P-WFS promises better sensitivity in low-light scenarios and greater flexibility in pupil sampling. Key feature of the presented set-up is that part of the imaging light is used to illuminate the WFS. The double pass enables closed loop correction without beam modulation and speckle patterns in the sensor read-out are averaged out during scanning. The developed instrument is demonstrated with retinal images obtained in-vivo, where the cone mosaic is clearly visualized at ~4° eccentricity from the fovea.
The generation of Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) with mirror diameters up to 40 m has thick secondary mirror support structures (also known as spider legs), which cause difficulties in the wavefront reconstruction process. These spider legs create areas where the information of the phase is disconnected on the wavefront sensor detector, leading to pupil fragmentation and a loss of data on selected subapertures. The effects on wavefront reconstruction are differential pistons between segmented areas, leading to poor wavefront reconstruction. The resulting errors make the majority of existing control algorithms unfeasible for telescope systems having spider legs incorporated. A solution, named the split approach, is presented, which suggests to separate reconstruction of segment piston modes from the rest of the wavefront. Further, two methods are introduced for the direct reconstruction of the segment pistons. Due to the separate handling of the piston offsets on the segments, the split approach makes any of the existing phase reconstruction algorithms developed for nonsegmented pupils suitable for wavefront control in the presence of telescope spiders. We present end-to-end simulation results showing accurate, stable, and extremely fast wavefront reconstruction for the first light instrument mid-infrared ELT imager and spectograph of the ELT that is currently under construction.
The new generation of ground-based telescopes relies on real-time adaptive optics systems to compensate for atmospheric perturbations arising during the imaging process. Pyramid wavefront sensors are planned to be part of many instruments currently under development for ELT-sized telescopes. The high number of correcting elements to be controlled in real-time and the segmented pupils of the ELTs lead to unprecedented challenges posed to the control algorithms. Based on various (approximate) models, several algorithms were developed in the last decades for linear and non-linear wavefront correction from pyramid sensor data. Among those, we emphasize interaction-matrix-based approaches, Fourier domain methods, iterative algorithms, and algorithms based on the inversion of the Finite Hilbert transform. We briefly present the core ideas of the algorithms and provide the necessary theoretical background like, e.g., the Fourier domain filters, or the direct inversion formulas. We give a detailed comparison of the presented methods with respect to underlying pyramid sensor models, the computational complexities, and reconstruction qualities. The performance of our algorithms is demonstrated in the context of an XAO system on the EPICS instrument and a SCAO system on the METIS instrument on the ELT. In the simulations, realistic features as the ELT spiders and the hexagonal M4 geometry are partially taken into account.
In the design of the future generation ELTs the support structures for the secondary mirror (also known as spiders) lead to a piston on each of the pupil segments created by the spiders, known as ”island effect”. In this talk we focus on fast and stable reconstruction methods to cope with the island effect. We present and compare wavefront reconstruction algorithms and highlight their performance in a METIS- like AO system. We focus on FEWHA (Finite Element-Wavelet Hybrid Algorithm), Poke Matrix Inversion using a set of predefined DM influence functions and new methods for a direct segment piston estimation in combination with the P-CuReD (Preprocessed Cumulative Reconstructor with Domain decomposition). The results are backed up by Octopus (the full AO end-to-end simulator from ESO) simulations highlighting stable Strehl ratios for our simulation setting.
METIS is the Mid-infrared Extremely large Telescope Imager and Spectrograph, one of the first generation instruments of ESO’s 39m ELT. All scientific observing modes of METIS require adaptive optics (AO) correction close to the diffraction limit. Demanding constraints are introduced by the foreseen coronagraphy modes, which require highest angular resolution and PSF stability. Further design drivers for METIS and its AO system are imposed by the wavelength regime: observations in the thermal infrared require an elaborate thermal, baffling and masking concept. METIS will be equipped with a Single-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (SCAO) system. An integral part of the instrument is the SCAO module. It will host a pyramid type wavefront sensor, operating in the near-IR and located inside the cryogenic environment of the METIS instrument. The wavefront control loop as well as secondary control tasks will be realized within the AO Control System, as part of the instrument. Its main actuators will be the adaptive quaternary mirror and the field stabilization mirror of the ELT. In this paper we report on the phase B design work for the METIS SCAO system; the opto-mechanical design of the SCAO module as well as the control loop concepts and analyses. Simulations were carried out to address a number of important aspects, such as the impact of the fragmented pupil of the ELT on wavefront reconstruction. The trade-off that led to the decision for a pyramid wavefront sensor will be explained, as well as the additional control tasks such as pupil stabilization and compensation of non-common path aberrations.
We present a fast wavefront reconstruction algorithm developed for an extreme adaptive optics system equipped with a pyramid wavefront sensor on a 42m telescope. The method is called the Preprocessed Cumulative Reconstructor with domain decomposition (P-CuReD). The algorithm is based on the theoretical relationship between pyramid and Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor data. The algorithm consists of two consecutive steps - a data preprocessing, and an application of the CuReD algorithm, which is a fast method for wavefront reconstruction from Shack-Hartmann sensor data. The closed loop simulation results show that the P-CuReD method provides the same reconstruction quality and is significantly faster than an MVM.