Planned instruments utilizing multi-object adaptive optics systems on the forthcoming extremely large telescopes require large numbers of high order deformable mirrors. These devices are a significant cost driver, particularly if specifications regarding the number of faulty actuators are stringent. Here, we investigate the effect on adaptive optics performance that such faulty actuators have, and draw conclusions about how far faulty actuator specifications (and hence cost) can be relaxed without having a significant effect on adaptive optics performance. We also provide performance estimates using a map of faulty actuators from an existing deformable mirror. We investigate the effect of faulty actuators using an end-to-end Monte Carlo adaptive optics simulation code. We find that for actuators stuck at a fixed height above the deformable mirror surface, between 1 and 2 per cent of actuators can be faulty before significant performance degradation occurs. For actuators that are a coupled to nearest neighbours, up to about 5 per cent, can be faulty before adaptive optics (AO) performance begins to be affected.
Basden, A. (2014). Faulty actuator tolerance in deformable mirrors for Extremely Large Telescope multi-object adaptive optics. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 440(1), 577-581. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stu315