Abstract

While it is attractive to integrate a deformable mirror (DM) for adaptive optics (AO) into the telescope itself rather than using relay optics within an instrument, the resulting large DM can be expensive, particularly for extremely large telescopes. A low-cost approach for building a large DM is to use voice-coil actuators connected to the back of the DM through suction cups. Use of such inexpensive voice-coil actuators leads to a poorly damped system with many structural modes within the desired bandwidth. Control of the mirror dynamics using electro-mechanical sensors is thus required for integration within an AO system. We introduce a distributed control approach, and we show that the “inner” back sensor control loop does not need to function at low frequencies, leading to significant cost reduction for the sensors. Incorporating realistic models of low-cost actuators and sensors together with an atmospheric seeing model, we demonstrate that the low-cost mirror strategy is feasible within a closed-loop AO system.

©2012 Optical Society of America

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