The adaptive secondary mirror is a fundamental part in the LBT adaptive optics architecture. The thin, continuous mirror is controlled by 672 electromagnetic actuators (voice coil motors) with local position feedback (capacitive sensor) and allows to perform from tip-tilt to high order wavefront correction, but also chopping.
The adaptive secondary is controlled by a DSP-based dedicated electronics. The control electronics does not only implement the mirror position control tasks, but does also realize the Real Time Reconstructor (RTR). The control system, while maintaining a similar architecture to the MMT adaptive secondary one, shows a substantial enhancement in terms of computational power, rising in the range of hundreds of Gigaflops. This allows to minimize the computational time required to apply the wavefront correction pattern from the wavefront sensor acquisition, even in case of high order reconstructor dynamics.
The electronics is housed in compact cooled crates placed in the adaptive secondary hub. Apart from the power supply lines, it is connected to the other components of the adaptive control system just through a very high speed fiber optic link, capable of 2.9 Gigabit/s of actual data throughput. The control system has been designed according to modular concept, so that the number of channels can be easily increased or reduced for adapting the electronics to different correctors.
A substantial effort has been dedicated to the flexibility and on-field configurability of system. In this frame, the same electronics (or part of it) can be easily adapted to become the building block for the data processing unit required for Multi-Conjugated Adaptive Optics