Experimental comparison of Wide Field AO control schemes using the Homer AO bench.
Parisot Amélie, Petit Cyril, Fusco Thierry
Onera, BP72, 92322 CHATILLON CEDEX
Wide Field Adaptive Optics (WFAO) concepts, such as Laser Tomography AO (LTAO) or Multi-Conjugate AO (MCAO) have been developed in order to overcome the anisoplanatism limit of classical AO. Most of the future AO-assisted instruments of ELTs rely on such concepts which have raised critical challenges such as tomographic estimation and from laser and natural guide star combined with efficient DM(s) control. In that context, the experimental validation of the various clever control solutions proposed by several teams in the past years is now essential to reach a level of maturity compatible with their implementation in future WFAO developments for ELT. The ONERA wide field AO facility (HOMER bench) has been developed for these very issues. Gathering a 3D turbulence generator, laser and natural guide stars, two deformable mirrors with variable altitude positions and a PC-based flexible and user-friendly RTC , HOMER allows the implementation and comparison of control schemes from the simplest least-square to the optimal Linear Quadratic Gaussian solutions including Virtual DM and Pseudo-closed loop approaches. After a description of the bench internal calibrations and ultimate performance, all the control schemes are compared experimentally. Their evolutions as a function of wavefront sensors SNR as well as their robustness to calibration / model errors are particularly emphasised. Finally, we derive from the previous works some specific calibrations and identifications procedures ensuring both robustness and efficiency of WFAO systems and we extrapolate their applications to the future ELT AO systems.