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11 September 1998 WIYN active optics: a platform for AO
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The WIYN 3.5 meter telescope is situated on the southwest ridge of Kitt Peak yielding excellent atmosphere seeing conditions. As such, the telescope and enclosure design was directed towards exploiting this feature. The primary mirror was spun cast and figured by the Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory and the secondary mirror by Contraves. In both cases the performance exceeded the design specifications. The borosilicate primary is actively temperature controlled to within 0.2 C of the desired temperature, typically 0.5 degrees C below the ambient air. The telescope structure is also temperature controlled and the enclosure is opened to the outside ion all sides, which all heat sources are vented to ducts carrying air downwind of the facility. The primary mirror is actively controlled for low order aberrations by 66 axial actuators which are adjusted open loop via force matrix look-up tables and closed loop via real-time wavefront curvature sensing measurements. The active optics also included real-time collimation and focus control. The telescope drive and guider are capable of providing tracking to a few hundredths of a second of arc. By employing active telescope control at this level, it is possible to maintain telescope and local wavefront distortion to a level where atmospheric effects dominate the image quality. Since a significant fraction of the power in the atmospheric disturbances is contained in image motion the first step in adaptive optics control will be simple tip tilt. Studies of higher order AO system are being carried out, as well as additional test characterizing the telescope and site. It is intended to continue such studies in an attempt to establish long term variances.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Arthur D. Code, Charles F. Claver, Larry W. Goble, George H. Jacoby, and David G. Sawyer "WIYN active optics: a platform for AO", Proc. SPIE 3353, Adaptive Optical System Technologies, (11 September 1998);


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