Dark wavefront sensing takes shape following quantum mechanics concepts in which one is able to “see” an object in one path of a two-arm interferometer using an as low as desired amount of light actually “hitting” the occulting object. A theoretical way to achieve such a goal, but in the realm of wavefront sensing, is represented by a combination of two unequal beams interferometer sharing the same incoming light, and whose difference in path length is continuously adjusted in order to show different signals for different signs of the incoming perturbation. Furthermore, in order to obtain this in white light, the path difference should be properly adjusted vs the wavelength used. While we incidentally describe how this could be achieved in a true optomechanical setup, we focus our attention to the simulation of a hypothetical “perfect” dark wavefront sensor of this kind in which white light compensation is accomplished in a perfect manner and the gain is selectable in a numerical fashion. Although this would represent a sort of idealized dark wavefront sensor that would probably be hard to match in the real glass and metal, it would also give a firm indication of the maximum achievable gain or, in other words, of the prize for achieving such device. Details of how the simulation code works and first numerical results are outlined along with the perspective for an in-depth analysis of the performances and its extension to more realistic situations, including various sources of additional noise.
R. Ragazzoni, C. Arcidiacono, J. Farinato, et. al.
Tue, 2 Aug 16
Comments: 9 pages, 6 figures, Proceeding 9909-242 of the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2016, 26 June-1 July 2016 Edinburgh, Scotland, UK