Extreme adaptive optics testbed: Results and future work

Julia Wilhelmsen Evans, Gary Sommargren, Lisa Poyneer, Bruce Macintosh, Scott Severson, Daren Dillon, Andrew Sheinis, David Palmer, Jeremy Kasdin, Scot Olivier

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


"Extreme" adaptive optics systems are optimized for ultra-high-contrast applications, such as ground-based extrasolar planet detection. The Extreme Adaptive Optics Testbed at UC Santa Cruz is being used to investigate and develop technologies for high-contrast imaging, especially wavefront control. A simple optical design allows us to minimize wavefront error and maximize the experimentally achievable contrast before progressing to a more complex set-up. A phase shifting diffraction interferometer is used to measure wavefront errors with sub-nm precision and accuracy. We have demonstrated RMS wavefront errors of < 1.3 nm and a contrast of >10 -7 over a substantial region using a shaped pupil. Current work includes the installation and characterization of a 1024-actuator Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS) deformable mirror, manufactured by Boston Micro-Machines, which will be used for wavefront control. In our initial experiments we can flatten the deformable mirror to 1.8-nm RMS wavefront error within a control radius of 5-13 cycles per aperture. Ultimately this testbed will be used to test all aspects of the system architecture for an extrasolar planet-finding AO system. high-contrast imaging, extrasolar planet detection, interferometery, adaptive optics, micro-electrical-mechanical-systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number178
Pages (from-to)954-959
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue numberPART 2
StatePublished - 2004
EventAdvancements in Adaptive Optics - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 21 2004Jun 25 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Extreme adaptive optics testbed: Results and future work'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this