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A high spatial-resolution wavefront corrector for next generation applications in astronomy

The 4K-DM is an enabling component for precise, high speed, wavefront control. With 4092 actuators controlled to under 1 nm of precision and no hysteresis, this system is ideal for demanding applications in astronomy. The high-speed electronics driver is capable of 20 kHz frame rate and 14-bit step resolution. Originally developed for the Gemini Planet Imager, to be installed at the Gemini South Observatory in Chile, the 4K-DM is projected to see first light in early 2011.

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Ultra-high resolution MEMS Deformable Mirrors

MEMS deformable mirrors are high-resolution wavefront correction devices used in many AO applications given their versatility, maturity of technology, and the high resolution wavefront correction capabilities. The high performance nature of the 4K-DM is shown below. The figure below shows correction of Kolmogorov turbulence to a level of precision equal to 22.6 nm RMS.

  4k-DM Profile

4K-DM Performance

4K-DM Performace

Gemini Planet Imager testing results.
Left: Example of wavefront error (WFE) that the 4K-DM is expected to see due to atmospheric turbulence when the instrument is installed on the Gemini telescope.
Center: The controlled DM shape to correct for the WFE.
Right: The residual error after correction (<l/20)


DM Specifications

  • Continuous Surface
  • 4092* actuators (64 × 64 array without 4 corners)
  • Zero hysteresis
  • Fill Factor >99.5%
  • Sub-nm average step size
  • Surface Finish: <20 nm RMS
  • Stroke: 3.5 μm
  • Aperture 25 mm
  • Pitch: 400 μm
  • Approx. Mechanical Response Time
    (10% – 90%): <100 μs
  • Approx. Interactuator Coupling (±5%): 13%

* Custom actuator counts available upon request


Driver Specification

  • DIO Interface: 32-bit LVDS (200 MB/s)
  • 14 bit step resolution
  • Frame Rate: 20 kHz
  • Dimensions: 5.25" × 19" × 14" (3U Chassis)
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