This book by one of the leaders in adaptive optics covers the fundamental theory and then describes in detail how this technology can be applied to large ground-based telescopes to compensate for the effects of atmospheric turbulence. It includes information on basic adaptive optics components and technology, and has chapters devoted to atmospheric turbulence, optical image structure, laser beacons, and overall system design. The chapter on system design is particularly detailed and includes performance estimation and optimization. Combining a clear discussion of physical principles with numerous real-world examples, this book will be a valuable resource for all graduate students and researchers in astronomy and optics.
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"While any of the four [monographs available in the field of adaptive optics] is suitable for use in a graduate class in observational astronomy, by far the best of them is Adaptive Optics for Astronomical Telescopes, by John Hardy, a pioneer in adaptive optics who, as adaptive-optics project leader at ITEK Corp, led the research and technology effort that culminated in the first operational military adaptive optics system in 1981. Hardy's book . . . would be an outstanding choice for a graduate class, because each topic is explained completely from basic principles to the ultimate level of complexity. . . . Once one is immersed in the rhythm of the presentation, the book is a pleasure to read. The strengths of Hardy's work include his knowledge of the US military literature in this field and his even-handed presentation of the many competing technologies that contribute to an adaptive-optics system."--Physics Today
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