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Thorlabs Unveils Shack-Hartmann Wavefront Sensor with Increased Frame Rate

Newton, NJ - March 28, 2011. Thorlabs, a world leader for manufacturing photonics and advanced imaging tools, recently released its customer-inspired, high-speed Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor. The new model incorporates a CMOS sensor capable of measuring wavefronts at frame rates up to 450 Hz. This high-speed mode is made possible by an internal camera processor that frees up the PC to maximize data transfer rates without degrading sensor resolution.

Thorlabs has been developing and manufacturing Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensors and adaptive optics systems since 2007. These systems enable microscopists, astronomers, and remote sensing scientists among others to measure and actively correct image-degrading optical aberrations, respectively. The new high-speed sensor builds on the organization’s previous success with its 1.3 megapixel high-resolution Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor, which is available standalone or incorporated into Thorlabs’ current Adaptive Optics Kit offerings.

The new fast Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor comes with your choice of three microlens arrays that offer several options for wavelength range (400 – 900 nm or 300 – 1100 nm), lenslet pitch (150 or 300 microns), and focal length (3.7 mm, 5.0 mm, or 14.0 mm), thereby allowing the user to choose a system with high spatial resolution, enhanced contrast, or high wavefront accuracy. Kits combining two interchangeable microlens arrays are also available, furthering versatility and customizability. These kits feature Thorlabs’ patent-pending magnetic holder with pick-up tool for ease of switching the arrays.

All Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensors feature a USB connection for PC software control; a graphical user interface is included as well as drivers for LabVIEWTM and other common software packages. Many parameters, such as the reconstructed wavefront profile, Zernike coefficients, and RMS deviation are graphically displayed and available as text output.

Thorlabs is currently developing new, high-speed adaptive optics kits that incorporate these fast Shack-Hartmann sensors. To view our complete selection of adaptive optics systems and components, please visit

Thorlabs is committed to using customer feedback to enhance its product offerings. This new high-speed Shack-Hartmann sensor is just one of many products resulting from such feedback. If you have a suggestion for an application where adaptive optics would be useful, a new adaptive optics product idea, or feedback on any of our over 12,000 products, please visit Feedback.

About Thorlabs:
Thorlabs designs, develops, and manufactures key building blocks for the Photonics industry. With over 12,000 products in its portfolio, the company stocks equipment including optics, optomechanical components, nanopositioning systems, fiber components, test and measurement systems, and laser sources for same-day shipment. In addition, we also provide system-level imaging solutions such as our complete OCT, confocal, and multiphoton imaging systems. Headquartered in Newton, NJ, Thorlabs has over 600 employees at manufacturing and sales offices throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden, Japan, and China.