Wavefront sensing with a holographically created diffraction grating is a promising new approach in adaptive optics. In this paper the realization of such a holographic wavefront sensor for the detection of defocus is presented. Core of the sensor is a computer-generated hologram displayed on a spatial light modulator. The experimental results of the sensor usage are compared with simulated data to proof its functionality. For the sensor design the detector size could be an important parameter. Hence the influence of this factor on the sensor response is analyzed. Furthermore the effect of scintillation on the sensor output is covered. A preliminary simulation shows that the holographic wavefront sensor is not absolutely independent of scintillation, as assumed due to theoretical consumptions
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