Friday, October 31, 2008

Adaptive Optics – Correcting the Image

Adaptive Optics is the correction of optical distortions caused by atmospheric conditions (on telescopes) using spatial phase modulator such as a deformable mirror.

For an example of the image improvements that adaptive optics provides check out the view on this page. A “calibration” of sorts must be made to tune the adaptive optics system. If there is a guide star in the sky near the area of interest then that can be used. If not, most telescopes shoot a laser into the sky that causes a sodium gas to glow about 60 miles out. The telescope focuses on this glow and calibrates the system for it.


Best regards,
Hall T.

7 Comments:

Blogger Renee & Barrett said...

Hi Hall - I'm a non-techy doing research for investment purposes and I was curiuos what your take is on open source virtual instrumentation. I've heard rumors that websites for virtual instrumentation may start to compete in this field. Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks!

- Barrett

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