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Curvature sensing (2003-2007)

This project involves the development of a new wavefront sensor that is based on curvature measurements. The Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor, popular in optical testing, adaptive / active optics and ophthalmology, is based on slope measurements. In this project, a method was developed to measure the differentials of the slopes at each grid point to obtain the curvatures. Importantly, the techniques allow measuring the principal curvatures and directions, from which other curvatures mean and Gaussian may be computed as desired. Because we measure the curvature of the wavefront, the measurement is insensitive to vibrations, tip/tilt and whole body movement between the sensor and the wavefront under test. Like the Shack-Hartmann sensor, the measurements are real-time, inherently two-dimensional and parallel, and can be applied across various wavelength bands. Finally, this project is investigating zonal wavefront reconstruction and how to optimize accuracy as a function of the reconstruction geometry, the amount of noise in the mesurements, and means to handle boundary conditions.

Collaboration with Paul Glenn at Bauer Corporation.

Additional References

Weiyao Zou, Gradient And Curvature-Based Wave Front Sensing And Zonal Reconstruction, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Central Florida (2006)