In recent years, post-facto image-processing algorithms have been developed to achieve diffraction-limited observations of the solar surface. We present a combination of frame selection, speckle-masking imaging, and parallel computing which provides real-time, diffraction-limited, 256 x 256 pixel images at a 1-minute cadence. Our approach to achieve diffraction limited observations is complementary to adaptive optics (AO). At the moment, AO is limited by the fact that it corrects wavefront abberations only for a field of view comparable to the isoplanatic patch. This limitation does not apply to speckle-masking imaging. However, speckle-masking imaging relies on short-exposure images which limits its spectroscopic applications. The parallel processing of the data is performed on a Beowulf-class computer which utilizes off-the-shelf, mass-market technologies to provide high computational performance for scientific calculations and applications at low cost. Beowulf computers have a great potential, not only for image reconstruction, but for any kind of complex data reduction. Immediate access to high-level data products and direct visualization of dynamic processes on the Sun are two of the advantages to be gained.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science