It is not a secret or discovery that the majority of scientists believe (and for good reasons) that the next XXI century will be the age of optical systems and informational technologies. This tendency is now rather obvious. The optoelectronic systems have been progressing most rapidly in the last two decades. Scientifically developed countries allocate significant funds to create such systems as well as to develop their applications.
An unceasing interest in solving the problems of constructing the up-to-date optoelectronic systems and increasing their efficiency is determined by a widening of the optics applications to the problems of information and energy transfer as well as imaging under conditions of real atmosphere. At the same time the methods and technology of adaptive correction need for the control means to overcome a decrease in the efficiency of the atmospheric optical systems caused by large-scale inhomogeneities of the refractive index of the propagating medium. Such inhomogeneities result from a turbulent mixing in the atmosphere and may appear in the channel of high-power radiation propagation due to molecular and aerosol absorption as well. The adaptive optical systems allow one:
– to enhance the laser radiation focusing at a target and to augment the intensity of a focal spot;
– to decrease blurring of astronomic and other object images constructed with telescopes; to improve the image sharpness, and to lower the probability of errors in the object recognition;
– to lower the noise level and to increase the rate of the information transfer in the optical communication systems.
Annual international conferences on the adaptive optics, organized by The International Society for Optical Engineering, and the adaptive optics sections in the programs of other conferences topically connected with the adaptive optics demonstrate that applicability of modern adaptive systems is a high-priority problem. In 1998 a specialized issue of the journal of the American Optical Society (Applied Optics, 1998, V. 37, No. 21) was published dedicated to the problems of adaptive correction of signals perturbed by the atmosphere. The specialized issue of the Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics comes out of the press every year.