UCL Astrophysics Group


Active and Adaptive Optics

Active or adaptive optics is the use of actuators on a mirror substrate to correct for intrinsic form errors and/or to flatten a distorted wavefront incident on it.

The term 'active' usually applies to a slow time-varying correction e.g. to correct the form errors arising from thermal or gravity vector changes;  'adaptive' is used when referring to high frequency time corrections (100's of Hz), usually for the correction of wavefronts distorted by atmospheric turbulence and is commonly used for high resolution imaging from large ground based telescopes.

Current research within the group is focussed towards suitable materials for large deformable mirrors with future giant telescopes in mind and active x-ray optics for next generation x-ray observatories. 

Follow the links below for more information about individual projects: