Large Scale Adaptive Optics
Andreas Binder (MathConsult)

In ground-based telescopes, the light coming from the astronomical objects is being distorted by the turbulent nature of the atmosphere caused by, e.g., changing temperature and wind conditions. Adaptive Optics (AO) is a technology which allows to compensate for these distortions and to enhance the resolution of the images and to avoid costly post-processing. Equipped with the AO correction, the large ground-based telescopes are able to compete with the space telescopes with respect to the accuracy of the reconstruction.

The AO mechanism is based on the measurements of the wavefront aberration and produces - via solving the inverse problem - commands which are applied to deformable mirrors that correct the aberration. In oline control systems, this inverse problem has to be solved up to 3000 times per second.

We present results which that were obtained in the Austrian Adaptive Optics project carried out for the European Southern Observatory between 2009 and 2013.