Shack-Hartmann: the go-to technology for telescope alignment and characterization

Over the past three decades, possibilities offered by Adaptive Optics, the technology allowing to compensate for optical aberration, revolutionized optical astronomy. It could unleash the imagination of the scientific and engineers thinking of the instrument’s specifications needed for detecting and probing the atmosphere of an exoplanet, for example.

The Imagine Optic’s HASO family of wavefront sensors relies on Shack-Hartman wavefront measurement which was originaly developed for the metrology of primary mirrors, and subsequently used in adaptive optics systems on telescopes.

The drive of Imagine Optic when developing the HASO was to deliver the most accurate and robust instrument for people to perform optical characterization and alignment. Its robustness, accuracy, dynamics, and linearity have made the HASOs a popular choice in the astronomics community for characterizing and preparing even the most extreme and advanced instruments, among them :
• the metrology of primary mirrors before assembly of the HERSCHEL space observatory, or onsite for the CFHT.
• the alignment of ExAO systems and wavefront calibration for GPI or SPHERE.
• the alignment of the whole GAIA space telescope, and DKIST.
• the characterization of deformable mirrors for TMT NFIRAOS.
• the characterization of the subsystems and components of LIRGO and TMT.

A more comprehensive list of instruments and experimentations that took advantage of the HASOs reference capabilities is available here.

Imagine Optic is dedicated to innovation in optical metrology and adaptive optics. We are thankful for the trust of the astrophysics community and proud of our contribution to these programs.

 

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