Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Byron M. Welsh, PhD


The resolution of optical imaging systems is severely degraded from the diffraction limit by the random effects of the atmosphere. Techniques exist to compensate for the atmospheric turbulence, one of which is adaptive optics. A critical component in the adaptive optics system is the wavefront sensor. Presently, two types of sensors are being used-the Hartmann-Shack Wavefront Sensor and the Shearing Interferometer. Previous studies have compared these two sensors and found them to perform identically for a point source. However, to date, no comparison has been performed for an extended source and subaperture spacing larger than the correlation length of the atmosphere, ro. This thesis has examined this problem and compared these two sensors for the above conditions. Results indicate that the sensors have comparable performance when an infinite number of photons are available. However, the photon limited cases indicate superior performance by the Hartmann Sensor.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number


Included in

Optics Commons