Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Technical Focus Areas: Adaptive Optics
Image processing and controls enable Adaptive Optics for enhanced imaging systems

Adaptive Optics


Adaptive Optics (AO) are used to correct the wavefronts of light in optical systems, compensating for such effects as the atmospheric distortion of light observed by telescopes. Typically, the perturbed wavefront is corrected through phase conjugation on the surface of a deformable mirror.

Our Capabilities

LLNL has been a leader in the AO field for years, playing a major role in the U.C. (originally NSF) Center for Adaptive Optics. Seminal advances in high-precision control of adaptive optics have been introduced by our staff, in areas such as Fourier transform wavefront reconstruction, spatially-filtered wavefront sensing, optimized-gain Fourier control and Predictive Fourier Control.

Recent CASIS Workshop Proceedings

Contact a Subject Matter Expert

Lisa Poyneer, (925) 423-3360,

In the Spotlight —
Gemini Planet Imager

The Challenge

Exosolar planets are often a million times fainter than the stars they orbit — spotting them has been compared to finding a firefly circling a distant lightpole.

The Results

Gemini Planet Imager

Even these early first-light images are almost a factor of 10 better than the previous generation of instruments. In one minute, we were seeing planets that used to take us an hour to detect.

Bruce Macintosh, Gemini Planet Imager Project Lead, LLNL

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