Quasi-real-time end-to-end simulations of ELT-scale adaptive optics systems on GPUs


Damien Gratadour




Our team has started the development of a code dedicated to GPUs for the simulation of AO systems at the E-ELT scale. It uses the CUDA toolkit and an original binding to Yorick (an open source interpreted language) to provide the user with a comprehensive interface.

In this paper we present the first performance analysis of our simulation code, showing its ability to provide Shack-Hartmann (SH) images and measurements at the kHz scale for VLT-sized AO system and in quasi-real-time (up to 70 Hz) for ELT-sized systems on a single top-end GPU. The simulation code includes multiple layers atmospheric turbulence generation, ray tracing through these layers, image formation at the focal plane of every sub-apertures of a SH sensor using either natural or laser guide stars and centroiding on these images using various algorithms. Turbulence is generated on-the-fly giving the ability to simulate hours of observations without the need of loading extremely large phase screens in the global memory. Because of its performance this code additionally provides the unique ability to test real-time controllers for future AO systems under nominal conditions.

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