Adaptive Optics is established as essential technology in current and future ground based (extremely) large
telescopes to compensate for atmospheric turbulence. Deformable mirrors for astronomic purposes have a high
number of actuators (> 10k), a relatively large stroke (> 10μm) on a small spacing (< 10mm) and a high control
bandwidth (> 100Hz).
The availability of piezoelectric ceramics as an actuator principle has driven the development of many adaptive
deformable mirrors towards inappropriately stiff displacement actuation. This, while the use of force actuation
supersedes piezos in performance and longevity while being less costly per channel by a factor of 10-20.
This paper presents a model which is independent of the actuator type used for actuation of continuous
facesheet deformable mirrors, to study the design parameters such as: actuator spacing & coupling, influence
function, peak-valley stroke, dynamical behavior: global & local, etc. The model is validated using finite element
simulations and its parameters are used to derive design fundamentals for optimization.