Wavefront Sensors

Adaptive optics (AO) is a recent technique whose theoretical foundations date back to the 1970s, but which was not declassified for public use until the late 1980s. Since then, AO has been widely used—primarily in astronomy—to develop systems that compensate for image distortions caused by atmospheric turbulence. The method consists of conducting real-time analysis of the aberrated wavefront and then applying control shapes to a deformable mirror.

Adaptive optics systems are made up of three main components: the wavefront sensor, which measures aberrations of the incident wave; the corrector (deformable mirror); and the real-time control system. To design our wavefront sensors, INO employs a novel technology.

Our expertise: Pyramid wavefront sensors

  • More sensitive for low-intensity objects than conventional Shack-Hartmann sensors

  • Extended dynamic range

  • Improved sensor modularity with zones of the desired size constituted on the camera

  • Very fine pupil sampling on a reasonably sized sens

Our strength: Technology watch

We closely monitor the most recent developments in the field around the world. To stay current, we earmark a portion of our own funds to conduct preliminary studies designed to evaluate potential solutions and ultimately lead to the construction and validation of demo devices. This enables us to produce simple, flexible, and compact adaptive optics systems to meet application specifications.

Fields of application:

  • Astronomy

  • Microscopy

  • Free-space communications

  • Vision science

  • Lasers

Plus…

INO works with major astronomy research centers such as the National Research Council Canada (NRCC) Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics to acquire expertise in pyramid wavefront sensors and to assess the possibilities and limitations of applications using this technology. We will be developing numerous astronomy applications in the medium and long term. In fact, it is likely that all future generation large ground-based telescopes built between now and 2020 will incorporate adaptive optics directly into their designs. They will also feature instruments based on cascade systems and draw on various fields of application, including extremely high–order correction for exoplanet detection and extended angle-of-view and wavelength correction for low-luminosity and large objects. INO is positioned as a major player in the fields of image analysis and correction.

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