High resolution adaptive optical systems containing millions of spatial resolution elements are under development for real-time wave front correction in such applications as1-3 atmospheric optical communications and imaging and high energy laser propagation. Unlike the previous technology, consisting of discrete phase estimators hard-wired to phase modulator arrays, an all-optical parallel processing approach is being pursued. In operation, wave front spatial phase distortions are transformed by an all-optical phase estimator into intensity variations in a control beam. This control beam drives a monolithic optically addressed spatial phase modulator to straighten out the corrupted wave front.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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