Liquid crystal devices in adaptive optics
Large aperture astronomical telescopes have a resolution that is limited by the effects of the Earth's atmosphere. The atmosphere causes incoming wavefronts to become aberrated, to correct for this adaptive optics is employed. This technique attempts to measure the incident wavefront and correct it, restoring the original image. Conventional techniques use mirrors that are deformed with piezo-electric crystals, this thesis uses an alternative technique. Two different types of liquid crystal spatial light modulators are used as the corrective elements. The advantages and disadvantages of both are assessed in an attempt to find which system is the best for astronomical adaptive optics.