||Atmospheric turbulence distorts the observations of astronomical telescopes, which must be compensated for using adaptive optics systems. Current adaptive optics systems for astronomical telescopes consist of a so-called wavefront sensor, a control system and a deformable mirror that can minimize the negative effects of atmospheric turbulence on the astronomical observations. One interesting type of new deformable mirrors that are being design for large scale adaptive optics are segmented deformable bimorph mirrors. An example of such a design developed at the Active Structures Laboratory in Brussels is presented in the figure below wavefront sensor, however, does not directly measure the wavefront but rather its slopes. It is the process of wavefront reconstruction that aims to reconstruct the original wavefront from the slopes measured by the wavefront sensor.
The challenge of this MSc thesis is to develop an integrated model of such a class of mirrors and the wavefront disturbance that is amenable for the new class of distributed control methodologies developed at the Delft Center of Technology. Part of these developments recently were awarded with the best PhD thesis of the European Consortium on Embedded, Networked or Distributed Control. The distributed controller is implemented on an array of computing units to be able to deal with the large scale (in the order of 10000 sensors and actuators) dimensionality of the problem.
Link to the Thesis award: http://www.eeci-institute.eu/index.php?p=PhD-Award
More information on the Smart Optics Research Activities: http://www.dcsc.tudelft.nl/~mverhaegen/n4ci/index.htm