Sparse-aperture adaptive optics

Peter Tuthill*, James Lloyd, Michael Ireland, Frantz Martinache, John Monnier, Henry Woodruff, Theo Ten Brummelaar, Nils Turner, Charles Townes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Aperture masking interferometry and Adaptive Optics (AO) are two of the competing technologies attempting to recover diffract ion-limited performance from ground-based telescopes. However, there are good arguments that these techniques should be viewed as complementary, not competitive. Masking has been shown to deliver superior PSF calibration, rejection of atmospheric noise and robust recovery of phase information through the use of closure phases. However, this comes at the penalty of loss of flux at the mask, restricting the technique to bright targets. Adaptive optics, on the other hand, can reach a fainter class of objects but suffers from the difficulty of calibration of the PSF which can vary with observational parameters such as seeing, airmass and source brightness. Here we present results from a fusion of these two techniques: placing an aperture mask downstream of an AO system. The precision characterization of the PSF enabled by sparse-aperture interferometry can now be applied to deconvolution of AO images, recovering structure from the traditionally-difficult regime within the core of the AO-corrected transfer function. Results of this program from the Palomar and Keck adaptive optical systems are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Adaptive Optics II
Place of PublicationWashington, DC
Number of pages10
Volume6272 II
ISBN (Print)081946337X, 9780819463371
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventAdvances in Adaptive Optics II - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: 24 May 200631 May 2006


OtherAdvances in Adaptive Optics II
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL


  • Adaptive Optics
  • Optical Interferometry


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