From Astronomy to Medical applications


One of the leader in the field of adaptive optics, ALPAO is able to provide you with component ranging from the deformable mirror to the state of the art adaptive optics full loop. With our large stroke, fast deformation and very good optical quality, you are able to recover the image quality to the best resolution. Applications such as vision science, astronomy, microscopy or FSO communication enjoy our product performances for aberration compensation. 



Turbulence introduced by the atmosphere degrades images taken using telescopes. Using adaptive optics recovers much of the information that is lost. As a result, it is possible to increase your number and quality of scientific observations.

AO for astronomy provides solutions for the following issues:

  • • low photon flux
  • • high frequency of atmospheric turbulence


Star AO on off 398x200 Solar Adaptive Optics onSolar Adaptive Optics off

Observation by night and by day using a 1.6-meter McMP telescope located at Kitt Peak National observatory (USA) and a DM277
Credit: Dr. Ren Deqing from California State University Northridge


Vision science

Diagnosing illnesses of the eye requires high resolution images of the retina. Images taken using conventional instruments are poor quality due to aberrations introduced by the eye itself. Adaptive optics offers a revolutionary technique for restoring excellent image quality.

ALPAO developed a new deformable mirror technology destined to be integrated into the majority of ophthalmic instruments. Very large strokes, excellent linearity and high bandwidth allow these deformable mirrors to achieve great results for a variety of configurations (AO-SLO, AO-OCT, etc.). Thanks to ALPAO's Core Engine architecture, the use of adaptive optics has never been so easy.

retinal imaging 400x200 AO Ophtalmo globules 200x200

Scale bars=10 microns across.  

The image on the left shows the smallest cones at the center of the retina, (the fovea), while the image on the right shows the photoreceptor mosaic at a more eccentric location.
The large bright dots with a dark ring around them on the right are cones, and the surrounding more abundant smaller spots are rods.



Adaptive Optics systems can correct for spherical aberration introduced by different optical indices. If not corrected, these aberrations reduce the resolution of the microscope. Moreover, the fluorescence signal is also weakened due to these aberrations. Using AO corrects for this.

Adaptive Optics makes possible to shift the depth of focus, while maintaining a constant distance between the objective and the observed object to do 3D microscopy through the use of sections.

ALPAO's very large-stroke mirrors permit great depth of focus while correcting large spherical aberrations.

Example in mircoscopy

Two-color confocal imaging with AO provided by a descanned two-photon guide star deep in the living zebrafish brain.
(Credit Kai Wang, Betzig Lab., Janelia Farm, HHMI). 


Laser and Defense

Numerous laser applications benefit from adaptive optics, such as:

  • • Free-Space Optical communication
  • • Laser beam optimization for atomic trapping
  • • Laser weapons
  • • Improving beam quality
  • • Intra-cavity or extra cavity beam shaping

Thanks to its deformable mirrors technology and control systems, ALPAO can offer you specific solutions for your laser application. Laser damage treshold technical note is available upon request.



For the most demanding applications, ALPAO high quality deformable mirror enable our customers to adjust the wavefront in your process at the nm level. 

Controlling the wavefront at the finest level is then possible at every processing and tests steps of semiconductor fabrication. With our custom deformable mirrors we can adjust the size, wavelength and spatial frequency to push forward the state of the art. Adaptive optics is becoming mandatory for the next generation of semiconductor equipment.


 Contact us for more information