Active and Adaptive Optics

The active manipulation of laser wavefronts in optical systems allows the specific improvement of the system characteristics. To this end, the active optics group at Fraunhofer IOF is developing different deformable mirrors and mirror mounts:

  • Fast focus shifting deformable mirrors (z-stage deformable mirrors)
  • Unimorph deformable mirrors with 40 actuators
  • Surface orthogonal actuated deformable mirrors
  • Passive mounts for large aperture unimorph deformable mirrors
    (aperture 258 mm x 258 mm)
  • Active precision mounts for large reflective optics such as mirror and gratings


The active optics group’s expertise lie in the application driven deformable mirror design. Furthermore, these designs developed with finite-element-methods are to be setup and their performance evaluated. We therefore offer various devices such as scanning vibrometer, wavefront sensors, and high-power lasers.

Our expertise in wavefront measurements and mirror design will be used in a collaborative project together with IQOQI in Vienna and NightN. Ltd in Russia. Here we will characterize fiber coupled sources for secure entangled photon quantum communication.

Besides mirror development, we promote adaptive-optical (AO) system designs. New solutions are currently being developed specially focused on AO pre-compensation for laser communication between an optical ground station and a geostationary satellite. These developments have been initiated within some StarTiger project (ESA funding).

Within another ESA funded project, Space Telescope Optical Image Corrector STOIC, we are developing an adaptive optical breadboard to verify the correction chain of space telescopes.