Adaptive optics


We are the only Australian experts in adaptive optics (AO) for advanced astronomical instruments.

Our capabilities

The turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere causes a blurring of astronomical images; a phenomenon called ‘seeing’. AO systems measure the distortions caused by seeing, and correct the light path in real-time using a deformable mirror. AO systems enable remarkable improvements in image resolution.

Our expertise covers both adaptive optic systems and laser guide stars. We continue to build world-class innovative AO systems for current and future international facilities.

Beyond astronomy, our capabilities include reliable tracking of satellites and space debris and high-performance laser communications. AO can also be employed to provide robust, high-speed, free-space laser communications for internet, defence and space science applications. Other AO applications currently under development include retinal imaging and high-energy laser cutting and welding.

Relevant Projects

ULTIMATE-Subaru Conceptual Design

Adaptive Optics Simulation, System Engineering, Laser Guide Star Facility design packages

Laser Guide Star R&D

Sodium laser guide star research-related development programs for astronomy, space situational awareness and laser communications


A versatile, High Performance Real-Time Computing (RTC) platform for Adaptive Optics

NIFS (Gemini-N)

Infrared Integral Field Spectrograph for GEMINI North