The CHARA array is an optical/near infrared interferometer consisting of six 1-meter diameter telescopes, the longest baseline of which is 331 meters. With sub-millisecond angular resolution, the CHARA array is able to spatially resolve nearby stellar systems and reveal their detailed structures. To improve the sensitivity and scientific throughput, the CHARA array was funded by NSF-ATI in 2011 for an upgrade of adaptive optics (AO) systems to all six telescopes. This first grant covered Phase I of the adaptive optics system, which includes an on-telescope Wavefront Sensor (WFS) and non-common-path (NCP) error correction. Phase II of the program was funded by the NSF/MRI in 2016, and includes purchasing and installing the deformable mirrors at each telescope to complete the system. In this paper we will discuss both phases of the program, how the challenge of AO differs for interferometry, and the first results of the full system.
Theo A. ten Brummelaar, Judit Sturmann, Laszlo Sturmann, Matthew D. Anderson, Nils H. Turner, Michael J. Ireland, John D. Monnier, Denis Mourard, Stephen T. Ridgway, Douglas R. Gies, and Jean-Baptiste Le Bouquin, "The CHARA array adaptive optics program," Proc. SPIE 10703, Adaptive Optics Systems VI, 1070304 (Presented at SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation: June 10, 2018; Published: 10 July 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2312311.
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