A new adaptive optics system and method of operation, whereby the method removes tilt control, and includes the steps of using a steering mirror to steer a wavefront in the desired direction, for aiming an impinging aberrated light beam in the direction of a deformable mirror. The deformable mirror has its surface deformed selectively by means of a plurality of actuators, and compensates, at least partially, for existing aberrations in the light beam. The light beam is split into an output beam and a sample beam, and the sample beam is sampled using a wavefront sensor. The sampled signals are converted into corresponding electrical signals for driving a controller, which, in turn, drives the deformable mirror in a feedback loop in response to the sampled signals, for compensating for aberrations in the wavefront. To this purpose, a displacement error (gradient) of the wavefront is measured, and adjusted by a modified gain matrix, which satisfies the following equation:
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT RIGHTS
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California.