Optical Wavefront Prediction with Reservoir Computing [article]

Stephen John Weddell, University Of Canterbury
Over the last four decades there has been considerable research in the improvement of imaging exo-atmospheric objects through air turbulence from ground-based instruments. Whilst such research was initially motivated for military purposes, the benefits to the astronomical community have been significant. A key topic in this research is isoplanatism. The isoplanatic angle is an angular limit that separates two point-source objects, where if independent measurements of wavefront perturbations
more » ... t perturbations were obtained from each source, the wavefront distortion would be considered equivalent. In classical adaptive optics, perturbations from a point-source reference, such as a bright, natural guide star, are used to partially negate perturbations distorting an image of a fainter, nearby science object. Various techniques, such as atmospheric tomography, maximum a posteriori (MAP), and parameterised modelling, have been used to estimate wavefront perturbations when the distortion function is spatially variant, i.e., angular separations exceed the isoplanatic angle, θ₀, where θ₀ ≈ 10 μrad for mild distortion at visual wavelengths. However, the effectiveness of such techniques is also dependent on knowledge a priori of turbulence profiles and configuration data. This dissertation describes a new method used to estimate the eigenvalues that comprise wavefront perturbations over a wide, spatial field. To help reduce dependency on prior knowledge for specific configurations, machine learning is used with a recurrent neural network trained using a posteriori wavefront ensembles from multiple point-source objects. Using a spatiotemporal framework for prediction, the eigenvalues, in terms of Zernike polynomials, are used to reconstruct the spatially-variant, point spread function (SVPSF) for image restoration. The overall requirement is to counter the adverse effects of atmospheric turbulence on the images of extended astronomical objects. The method outlined in this thesis combines optical wavefront sensing using multiple natural guide [...]
doi:10.26021/1679 fatcat:kj22h2al75anbkb5d7mxl73tma