Closed-loop stability and performance analysis of least-squares and minimum-variance control algorithms for multiconjugate adaptive optics

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Recent progress has been made to compute efficiently the open-loop minimum-variance reconstructor (MVR) for multiconjugate adaptive optics systems by a combination of sparse matrix and iterative techniques. Using spectral analysis, I show that a closed-loop laser guide star multiconjugate adaptive optics control algorithm consisting of MVR cascaded with an integrator control law is unstable. To solve this problem, a computationally efficient pseudo-open-loop control (POLO method was recently proposed. I give a theoretical proof of the stability of this method and demonstrate its superior performance and robustness against misregistration errors compared with conventional least-squares control. This can be accounted for by the fact that POLC incorporates turbulence statistics through its regularization term that can be interpreted as spatial filtering, yielding increased robustness to misregistration. For the Gemini-South 8-m telescope multiconjugate system and for median Cerro Pachon seeing, the performance of POLC in terms of rms wave-front error averaged over a 1-arc min field of view is approximately three times superior to that of a least-squares reconstructor. Performance degradation due to 30% translational misregistration on all three mirrors is approximately a 30% increased rms wave-front error, whereas a least-squares reconstructor is unstable at such a misregistration level. © 2005 Optical Society of America.

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Applied Optics