CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

Living Edition
| Editors: The International Academy for Production Engineering, Sami Chatti, Tullio Tolio

Adaptive Optics

  • Ludger OvermeyerEmail author
  • Viktor Schütz
  • Jan Friedrich Düsing
Living reference work entry



Adaptive optics are real-time distortion-compensating systems which are used for improving image or beam quality in an optical system with (dynamic) aberrations.

Theory and Application


Adaptive optics systems (or adaptive optics, AO) are used for real-time compensation of aberration in optical systems. AOs are employed in optical systems where image or beam quality is limited by dynamic aberration induced by the propagation medium, e.g., atmospheric turbulence, laser device aberration, thermal lenses induced by high power beams in optics, or optical fabrication errors (Tyson 1998).

First developments of AOs started in the 1950s and 1960s with the aim to improve the imaging quality of astronomical instruments. Since then, the range of applications has broadened to other fields of optical engineering, including, e.g., human retinal imaging (Ling 2003), confocal microscopy (Tao et al. 2011), intracavity adaptive-optics in laser...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Freeman RH, Freiberg RJ, Garcia HR (1978) Adaptive laser resonator. Opt Lett 2(3):61–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Garduño-Mejía J, Greenaway AH, Reid TD (2003) Designer femtosecond pulses using adaptive optics. Opt Express 11(17):2030–2040CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Haferkamp H, Seebaum D (1994) Beam delivery by adaptive optics for material processing applications using high-power CO2 lasers. Proc SPIE 2207:156–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ling N, Zhang Y, et al (2003) Adaptive optical system for retina imaging approaches clinic applications. In Wittrock U (ed) Adaptive optics for industry and medicine, proceedings of the 4th International workshop, Springer, Heidelberg, vol 102, p 304Google Scholar
  5. Lubeigt W, Valentine G et al (2002) Active transverse mode control and optimization of an all-solid-state laser using an intracavity adaptive-optic mirror. Opt Express 10(13):550–555CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Simmonds RD, Salter PS et al (2011) Three dimensional laser microfabrication in diamond using a dual adaptive optics system. Opt Express 19(24):24122–24128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Spinhirn JM, Anafi D et al (1981) Intracavity adaptive optics. 1: astigmatism correction performance. Appl Opt 20(6):976–984CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Tao X, Fernandez B et al (2011) Adaptive optics confocal microscopy using direct wavefront sensing. Opt Lett 36(7):1062–1064CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Tyson RK (2000) Adaptive optics engineering handbook. Dekker, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Tyson RK (1998) Principles of adaptive optics, 2nd edn. Academic Press, San DiegoGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© CIRP 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ludger Overmeyer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Viktor Schütz
    • 2
  • Jan Friedrich Düsing
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut für Transport- und AutomatisierungstechnikGottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität HannoverGarbsenGermany
  2. 2.LG Technology Center Europe (LG Electronics EU Office)DüsseldorfGermany
  3. 3.Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.HannoverGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • M. Alkan Donmez
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 100 Bureau Drive - Stop 8220GaithersburgUSA