A wavefront curvature sensor is a device for measuring the aberrations of an optical wavefront. Like a Shack–Hartmann wavefront sensor it uses an array of small lenses (or lenslets) to focus the wavefront into an array of spots. Unlike the Shack-Hartmann, which measures the position of the spots, the curvature sensor measures the intensity on either side of the focal plane. If a wavefront has a phase curvature, it will alter the position of the focal spot along the axis of the beam, thus by measuring the relative intensities in two places the curvature can be deduced.
In physics, a wavefront of a time-varying field is the set (locus) of all points where the wave has the same phase of the sinusoid. The term is generally meaningful only for fields that, at each point, vary sinusoidally in time with a single temporal frequency.
A Shack–Hartmannwavefront sensor (SHWFS) is an optical instrument used for characterizing an imaging system. It is a wavefront sensor commonly used in adaptive optics systems. It consists of an array of lenses of the same focal length. Each is focused onto a photon sensor. The local tilt of the wavefront across each lens can then be calculated from the position of the focal spot on the sensor. Any phase aberration can be approximated by a set of discrete tilts. By sampling an array of lenslets, all of these tilts can be measured and the whole wavefront approximated.
The bibcode is a compact identifier used by several astronomical data systems to uniquely specify literature references.
In computing, a Digital Object Identifier or DOI is a persistent identifier or handle used to identify objects uniquely, standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). An implementation of the Handle System, DOIs are in wide use mainly to identify academic, professional, and government information, such as journal articles, research reports and data sets, and official publications though they also have been used to identify other types of information resources, such as commercial videos.
A lens is a transmissive optical device that focuses or disperses a light beam by means of refraction. A simple lens consists of a single piece of transparent material, while a compound lens consists of several simple lenses (elements), usually arranged along a common axis. Lenses are made from materials such as glass or plastic, and are ground and polished or molded to a desired shape. A lens can focus light to form an image, unlike a prism, which refracts light without focusing. Devices that similarly focus or disperse waves and radiation other than visible light are also called lenses, such as microwave lenses, electron lenses, acoustic lenses, or explosive lenses.
The focal length of an optical system is a measure of how strongly the system converges or diverges light. For an optical system in air, it is the distance over which initially collimated (parallel) rays are brought to a focus. A system with a shorter focal length has greater optical power than one with a long focal length; that is, it bends the rays more sharply, bringing them to a focus in a shorter distance.
Adaptive optics (AO) is a technology used to improve the performance of optical systems by reducing the effect of incoming wavefront distortions by deforming a mirror in order to compensate for the distortion. It is used in astronomical telescopes and laser communication systems to remove the effects of atmospheric distortion, in microscopy, optical fabrication and in retinal imaging systems to reduce optical aberrations. Adaptive optics works by measuring the distortions in a wavefront and compensating for them with a device that corrects those errors such as a deformable mirror or a liquid crystal array.
Angular resolution or spatial resolution describes the ability of any image-forming device such as an optical or radio telescope, a microscope, a camera, or an eye, to distinguish small details of an object, thereby making it a major determinant of image resolution. In physics and geosciences, the term spatial resolution refers to the precision of a measurement with respect to space.
Scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (SLO) is a method of examination of the eye. It uses the technique of confocal laser scanning microscopy for diagnostic imaging of retina or cornea of the human eye.
The point spread function (PSF) describes the response of an imaging system to a point source or point object. A more general term for the PSF is a system's impulse response, the PSF being the impulse response of a focused optical system. The PSF in many contexts can be thought of as the extended blob in an image that represents an unresolved object. In functional terms it is the spatial domain version of the optical transfer function of the imaging system. It is a useful concept in Fourier optics, astronomical imaging, medical imaging, electron microscopy and other imaging techniques such as 3D microscopy and fluorescence microscopy. The degree of spreading (blurring) of the point object is a measure for the quality of an imaging system. In non-coherent imaging systems such as fluorescent microscopes, telescopes or optical microscopes, the image formation process is linear in power and described by linear system theory. This means that when two objects A and B are imaged simultaneously, the result is equal to the sum of the independently imaged objects. In other words: the imaging of A is unaffected by the imaging of B and vice versa, owing to the non-interacting property of photons. The image of a complex object can then be seen as a convolution of the true object and the PSF. However, when the detected light is coherent, image formation is linear in the complex field. Recording the intensity image then can lead to cancellations or other non-linear effects.
A film plane is the area inside any camera or image taking device with a lens and film or digital sensor upon which the lens creates the focused image. The film plane varies in distance from the lens focal point in cameras from different manufacturers. Thus each lens used has to be chosen carefully to assure that the image from the lens is focused on the exact place where the individual frame of film or digital sensor is positioned during exposure. It is sometimes marked on a camera body with the 'Φ' symbol where the vertical bar represents the exact location.
The Fresnel number (F), named after the physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel, is a dimensionless number occurring in optics, in particular in scalar diffraction theory.
An aspheric lens or asphere is a lens whose surface profiles are not portions of a sphere or cylinder. In photography, a lens assembly that includes an aspheric element is often called an aspherical lens.
A light field camera, also known as plenoptic camera, captures information about the light field emanating from a scene; that is, the intensity of light in a scene, and also the direction that the light rays are traveling in space. This contrasts with a conventional camera, which records only light intensity.
Deformable mirrors (DM) are mirrors whose surface can be deformed, in order to achieve wavefront control and correction of optical aberrations. Deformable mirrors are used in combination with wavefront sensors and real-time control systems in adaptive optics. In 2006 they found a new use in femtosecond pulse shaping.
A wavefront sensor is a device for measuring the aberrations of an optical wavefront. Although an amplitude splitting interferometer such as the Michelson interferometer could be called a wavefront sensor, the term is normally applied to instruments that do not require an unaberrated reference beam to interfere with. They are commonly used in adaptive optics systems, lens testing and increasingly in ophthalmology.
A lenslet is literally a small lens. The fact that distinguishes it from a small lens is that it is part of a lenslet array. A lenslet array consists of a set of lenslets in the same plane. Each lenslet normally has the same focal length.
A laser beam profiler captures, displays, and records the spatial intensity profile of a laser beam at a particular plane transverse to the beam propagation path. Since there are many types of lasers — ultraviolet, visible, infrared, continuous wave, pulsed, high-power, low-power — there is an assortment of instrumentation for measuring laser beam profiles. No single laser beam profiler can handle every power level, pulse duration, repetition rate, wavelength, and beam size.
A common-path interferometer is a class of interferometers in which the reference beam and sample beams travel along the same path. Examples include the Sagnac interferometer, Zernike phase-contrast interferometer, and the point diffraction interferometer. A common-path interferometer is generally more robust to environmental vibrations than a "double-path interferometer" such as the Michelson interferometer or the Mach–Zehnder interferometer. Although travelling along the same path, the reference and sample beams may travel along opposite directions, or they may travel along the same direction but with the same or different polarization.
Erkin Sidick is a NASA Senior Optical Engineer of Uyghur descent and a member of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
NIRCam is an instrument aboard the to-be-launched James Webb Space Telescope. It has two major tasks, as an imager from 0.6 to 5 micron light wavelength, and as a wavefront sensor to keep the 18-section mirrors functioning as one. In other words, it is a camera and is also used to provide information to align the 18 segments of the primary mirror. It is an infrared camera with ten mercury-cadmium-telluride (HgCdTe) detector arrays, and each array has an array of 2048x2048 pixels. The camera has a field of view of 2.2x2.2 arc minutes with an angular resolution of 0.07 arcsec at 2 microns. NIRCam is also equipped with coronagraphs, which helps to collect data on exoplanets near stars. It helps with imaging anything next to a much brighter object, because the coronagraph blocks that light. NIRCam is housed in the Integrated Science Instrument Module, to which it is attached physically by struts. It is designed to operate at 37 Kelvin, so it can detect infrared light at this wavelength. It is connected to the ISIM by struts and thermal straps connect to heat radiators, which helps maintain its temperature. The Focal Plane Electronics operated at 290 kelvin.
The Goode Solar Telescope (GST) is a scientific facility for studies of the Sun named after Philip R. Goode. It is the solar telescope with the world's largest aperture in operation. Located in Big Bear Lake; California, the Goode Solar Telescope is the main telescope of the Big Bear Solar Observatory operated by the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Initially named New Solar Telescope (NST), first engineering light was obtained in December 2008, and scientific observations of the Sun began in January 2009. On July 17, 2017, the NST was renamed in honor of Goode, a former, and founding director of NJIT's Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research and the principal investigator of the facility. Goode conceived, raised the funds, and assembled the team that built and commissioned the telescope, which is the highest resolution solar telescope in the world and the first facility class solar telescope built in the U.S. in a generation.