Abstract

The effects of turbulence-induced anisoplanatism cause the performance of an adaptive-optics system to be dependent on the angular separation between the object wave front being corrected and the wave front of the reference source. One method of quantifying this angular-dependent performance is through the average optical transfer function (OTF). An equally important measure is the variance of the OTF. The variance is used together with the average OTF in the definition of a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Knowledge of the SNR is essential for determining the spatial frequency limit of image restoration. We present a diffraction-based method of computing the object-angle-dependent OTF SNR for an adaptive-optics system. The SNR is computed with normalized correlation functions that are valid for a wide range of atmospheric turbulence profiles and beacon–object angles. The SNR results are presented for observation angles out to 6 times the isoplanatic angle as defined by Fried [ J. Opt. Soc. Am. 72, 52 ( 1982)].

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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