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adaptive optics

noun
1.
the branch of optics that compensates for image distortions, especially by means of flexible mirrors or membranes.
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British Dictionary definitions for adaptive-optics

adaptive optics

noun (functioning as sing)
1.
a technique used to increase the resolution of a ground-based astronomical telescope by counteracting the effects of the atmosphere on the image. A deforming mirror in the light path of the telescope maintains a pointlike image of the celestial body using either a real star or a laser beam as a reference
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Contemporary definitions for adaptive-optics
noun

a process which compensates for image distortions in telescopes caused by the atmosphere etc., esp. by use of flexible membranes or mirrors

Examples

In adaptive optics, a wavefront sensor uses a reference star to measure the distortions that are occurring and the distortions are then removed with a phase corrector.

Usage Note

optics

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