By Robert K. Tyson

Meant for scientists and engineers attracted to smooth functions of optical know-how, this booklet covers the elemental rules of optics, wavefront sensing, controls and wavefront correction that surround the sphere of adaptive optics

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Time dependence of turbulence Turbulence is a random process that has temporal statistics as well as spa­ tial statistics. From an adaptive optics point of view, these statistics can be important. If turbulence moves very slowly, then an adaptive optics system can view the disturbance as static. Correction would only be re­ quired in the spatial domain. If the turbulence is very fast, an adaptive optics system would only see the time-averaged disturbance. Fortunately, the actual turbulence is driven by winds and local eddies, which can be tracked by electronic means.

A variation in polishing pressure, for in­ stance, may produce such a defect that can be removed with adaptive optics when the optical element is used. Usually, these static, low-order defects can be calibrated out or compensated for in system setup, without relying on closed-loop control. Even after polishing and coating, there may be roughness in the sur­ face (called microstructure) that would affect an adaptive optics system. The adverse effects of the aberrations are usually less than the increased scattering from the optical surface.

When the pulse is long compared to the time a/v where a is the beam radius and v is the velocity of sound, the long-time thermal blooming strength is given by 2(-dn/dT)aI tL Sl s 2 0 N\ = T — o > pC a where aL

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