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In adaptive microscope systems, it is often desirable to dispense with the wavefront sensor and perform aberration correction through optimisation an appropriate quality metric, such as image brightness or sharpness. A sequence of trial aberrations is applied to the adaptive element and the metric values are calculated. The optimum aberration correction is derived from these measurements. An important choice in the design of these correction schemes is the modal aberration expansion. This choice may depend upon several factors, such as the deformable mirror, the optimisation metric, the aberration statistics or the image properties. We discuss these factors with particular reference to microscope imaging. © 2009 SPIE.

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