Spatial frequency response and sensitivity of the nonlinear curvature wavefront sensor

Stanimir Letchev, Jonathan Crass, Justin R. Crepp, Sam Potier

Submitted on 31 August 2022


The nonlinear curvature wavefront sensor (nlCWFS) has been shown to be a promising alternative to existing wavefront sensor designs. Theoretical studies indicate that the inherent sensitivity of this device could offer up to a factor of 10 times improvement compared to the widely-used Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor (SHWFS). The nominal nlCWFS design assumes the use of four detector measurement planes in a symmetric configuration centered around an optical system pupil plane. However, the exact arrangement of these planes can potentially be optimized to improve aberration sensitivity, and minimize the number of iterations involved in the wavefront reconstruction process, and therefore reduce latency. We present a systematic exploration of the parameter space for optimizing the nlCWFS design. Using a suite of simulation tools, we study the effects of measurement plane position on the performance of the nlCWFS and detector pixel sampling. A variety of seeing conditions are explored, assuming Kolmogorov turbulence. Results are presented in terms of residual wavefront error following reconstruction as well as the number of iterations required for solution convergence. Alternative designs to the symmetric four-plane design are studied, including three-plane and five-plane configurations. Finally, we perform a preliminary investigation of the effects of broadband illumination on sensor performance relevant to astronomy and other applications.


Comment: 11 pages, 8 figures, SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2022

Subject: Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics