28 September 2004 APE: a breadboard to evaluate new phasing technologies for a future European Giant Optical Telescope
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The point spread function of a segmented aperture is seriously affected by the misalignment of the segments. Stringent requirements apply to position sensors and their calibration. The Active Phasing Experiment (APE) will be a technical instrument aimed at testing possible phasing techniques for a European Giant Optical Telescope (EGOT) in a representative environment. It will also integrate simultaneous control of segmented and monolithic, active surfaces. A mirror composed of 61 hexagonal segments is conjugated to the primary mirror of the VLT. Each segment can be moved in piston, tip and tilt and can be controlled in open or closed loop. Three new types of Phasing Wave Front Sensors dedicated to the measurement of segmentation errors will be tested, evaluated and compared: a modified Mach-Zehnder sensor developed by the LAM and ESO, a Pyramid Sensor developed by Arcetri, and a Curvature Sensor developed by IAC. A reference metrology developed by FOGALE will be added to measure directly the deformation of the segmented mirror and check the efficiency of the tested wavefront sensors. This metrology will be based on a synthetic wavelength instantaneous phase stepping method. This experiment will first run in the laboratory with point-like polychromatic sources and a turbulence generator. In a second step, it will be mounted at a Nasmyth focus of a VLT unit telescope. These activities are included in a proposal to the European Commission for funding within Framework Program 6.
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Frederic Y. J. Gonte, Natalia Yaitskova, Philippe Dierickx, Robert Karban, Alain Courteville, Achim Schumacher, Nicholas Devaney, Simone Esposito, Kjetil Dohlen, Marc Ferrari, Luzma Montoya, "APE: a breadboard to evaluate new phasing technologies for a future European Giant Optical Telescope", Proc. SPIE 5489, Ground-based Telescopes, (28 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.553236; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.553236

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