A system for correcting wavefront distortion includes an eight channel deformable mirror 11 attached to a two-axis, tip/tilt mount 12. The deformable mirror 11 reflects an incoming telescopic wavefront 10 onto a beamsplitter 14. The beamsplitter 14 divides the reflected telescopic wavefront 13 into two separate beams 15, 20. The beam 20 reflected by the beamsplitter 14 may be used for experimentation and measurement. The beam 15 transmitted by the beamsplitter 14 is directed toward a modified Hartmann-Shack wavefront sensor 16. The modified Hartmann-Shack sensor 16 detects the slope of the wavefront at several locations across this transmitted beam 15 and provides analog signals 17 representing these slopes to a series of actuator drive circuits 18.; The actuator drive circuits 18 provide excitation signals 19 to actuators 22, 30 on the deformable mirror 11 and the two-axis, tip/tilt mount 12. These actuators 22, 30 facilitate the reforming and repositioning of the deformable mirror 11 so as to correct any incoming wavefront 10 distortion.