24 December 2003 Lessons learned from the first adaptive secondary mirror
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Abstract
The adaptive optics system for the 6.5 m MMT, based on a deformable secondary mirror, has been on the sky now for three commissioning runs totalling approximately 30 nights. The mirror has begun to demonstrate uniquely clean point-spread functions, high photon efficiency, and very low background in the thermal infrared. In this paper we review the lessons learned from the first few months of operation. Broadly, the hardware works well, and we are learning how procedures related to operation, system error recovery, and safety should be implemented in software. Experience with the MMT system is now guiding the design of the second and third adaptive secondaries, being built for the Large Binocular Telescope. In this context, we discuss the general requirements for retrofitting an adaptive secondary to an existing large telescope. Finally, we describe how the new technology can support the design of adaptive optics for 30-cm class telescopes, with particular attention to ground-layer adaptive optics (GLAO), where conjugation as close as possible to the turbulence is important.
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Michael Lloyd-Hart, Guido Brusa, Francois P. Wildi, Douglas L. Miller, Donald L. Fisher, Armando Riccardi, "Lessons learned from the first adaptive secondary mirror", Proc. SPIE 5169, Astronomical Adaptive Optics Systems and Applications, (24 December 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.507316; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.507316
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