Presentation #1107 in the session “Open Engagement Session B”.
In this talk, we describe technical progress with and forecast the science capabilities of the next generation of extreme AO systems on large ground-based telescopes. Systems like SCExAO and complementary ones like MagAO-X serve as incubators for critical direct imaging technologies on the ground and in space. Key wavefont control advances — some of which may be relevant for NASA flagship missions — include predictive control, linear dark field control, and additional novel methods that address non-common path aberrations. Completely rethought direct imaging survey approaches are in their infancy but already showing promise for far higher direct imaging discovery yields. I describe the utility of these instruments in mitigating risk and enabling breakthrough science for Roman-CGI and how they serve as prototypes for dedicated extreme AO systems with ELTs that may image habitable zone Earths around the nearest stars, some of which could be followed up spectroscopically with NASA missions to identify biomarkers.