Adaptive optics in the formation of optical beams and images
Institute of Optics and Atmosphere, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Akademicheskii prosp. 1, Tomsk, 634055, Russian Federation
In connection with the wide use of optoelectronic systems, we review the development of adaptive optics as an effective tool for the elimination, through the use of controllable optical elements, of irregular distortions that occur as light propagates in an inhomogeneous medium. The subject matter of this fast developing field of science and technology is described. Of the ideas under development in recent years, many have been around for quite a long time, but it is only now, with the development of up-to-date optoelectronic element base, that they have started being widely incorporated into science and engineering practice. An analysis is carried out of the development of adaptive optics from just ideas to their application in astronomy, high-power laser physics, and medicine. The current state of adaptive optics in stellar and solar astronomy is reviewed, and some results of its use in distortion correction systems of high-power laser systems and complexes are presented.