Wavefront calibration and correction of an optical train path: A compliant static deformable mirror approach

James H. Clark, F. Ernesto Penado, Frank Cornelius

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


For ground-based optical interferometry, the simple specification of high surface quality flat relay mirrors is not the end of the story for obtaining high quality fringes. The Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer array transports the stellar radiation from six primary collectors through a 10-reflection vacuum relay system, resulting in six separate combinable wavefronts. The surface error of each of the 60 relay mirrors is specified to be no greater than 32 nm peak-to-valley for fabrication purposes. However, once mounted in the 10-element optical train the errors from each mirror do not necessarily cancel one another, but can add and increase the resultant wavefront distortion for that path. This leads to fringe contrast reduction, reduced ability to fringe track, and a reduction in the limiting magnitude of observable objects. Fortunately, the total wavefront distortion for each train can be measured, calibrated, and nullified by using a phaseshifting interferometer combined with a compliant static deformable mirror and control system. In this paper we describe a system that mitigates the resultant wavefront distortion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical and Infrared Interferometry II
StatePublished - 2010
EventOptical and Infrared Interferometry II - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 27 2010Jul 2 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherOptical and Infrared Interferometry II
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Adaptive optics
  • Finite element analysis
  • Mirror deformations
  • NPOI
  • Optical interferometry
  • Static deformable mirror
  • Wavefront distortion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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