Adaptive Optics

Deformable mirrors & adaptive optics

CILAS deformable mirrors to focus your light and enhance your vision
CILAS Adaptive Optics for ESO telescope
CILAS Adaptive Optics for ESO telescope

Pioneer in adaptive optics

The initial deformable mirror developments started as early as 1973 at CILAS. The aim was to focus the laser beams through atmosphere for military applications.

In the mid-1980s, the astronomy community began to show a strong interest in these innovative techniques for ground telescopes. As early as 1989, CILAS developed and manufactured the deformable mirror of the Adaptive Optics system called COME-ON. It was the first demonstration of real-time correction of  wavefront deformations, generated by the atmospheric turbulence.

Since then, Adaptive Optics has become a necessity in astronomy and today most large telescopes in the world have a CILAS deformable mirror in operation.


CILAS deformable mirrors on telescopes and high-power laser chains:


CILAS Adaptive Optics lab


Based on piezoelectric technology, CILAS designs and manufactures:

  • Stack Array Mirrors (SAM) for astronomy
  • Monomorph Mirrors (MONO) for laser, astronomy and space

An expert team will design the most appropriate mirror type matching the requirements.

For astronomy

Large telescopes with CILAS deformable mirrors

CILAS deformable mirrors are an absolute necessity for a better and sharper observation of the sky. All our deformable mirrors perform high optical quality and lead to unmatched correction performances.

Suited to night and solar telescopes and their environment conditions

SAM Stack-Array deformable mirror

SAM Mirrors have:

  • 50 to 5000 actuators
  • 50 to 500mm diameter
  • High order and high frequency correction
  • High optical quality
  • Tip tilt mount
  • For large telescopes
MONO Monomorph deformable mirror

MONO Mirrors have:

  • 25 to 250mm diameter
  • High optical quality
  • No print-through effect
  • Tip tilt mount

For high-power lasers

High intensity or ultra-fast laser systems rely on many optical elements, which make it difficult to obtain an aber­ration-free laser beam. With a MONO deformable mirror positioned in the path of the laser, distortions can be ef­ficiently reduced.

High wavefront correction performances, for high intensity and ultra-fast laser systems

The MONOs feature:

  • 25 to 250mm diameter
  • A very high efficiency of the correction: >80% for Zernike modes up to 10th order
  • Metallic and dielectric coatings with high LIDT
  • A vacuum compatibility
  • In situ return of experience with unfailing reliability

AWE Laser chain with CILAS deformable mirror

For spaceborne instrumentation

Based on the MONOmorph technology, CILAS is currently developing deformable mirrors for space telescopes compatible with:

  • 1 billion cycles without failure
  • Space environment
  • ESA standards

Satellite with CILAS deformable mirror in progress

For innovative applications

For any type of correction needed, CILAS proposes the best adaptive optics system.

CILAS Adaptive Optics lab loop