Real time transverse wind estimation contributes to predictive correction which is used to compensate for the time delay error in the control systems of adaptive optics (AO) system. Many methods that apply Shack-Hartmann wave-front sensor to wind profile measurement have been proposed. One of the obvious problems is the lack of a fundamental benchmark to compare the various methods. In this work, we present the fundamental performance limits for transverse wind estimator from Shack-Hartmann wave-front sensor measurements using Cramér–Rao lower bound (CRLB). The bound provides insight into the nature of the transverse wind estimation, thereby suggesting how to design and improve the estimator in the different application scenario. We analyze the theoretical bound and find that factors such as slope measurement noise, wind velocity and atmospheric coherence length have important influence on the performance. Then, we introduced the non-iterative gradient-based transverse wind estimator. The source of the deterministic bias of the gradient-based transverse wind estimators is analyzed for the first time. Finally, we derived biased CRLB for the gradient-based transverse wind estimators from Shack-Hartmann wave-front sensor measurements and the bound can predict the performance of estimator more accurately.
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