25 October 2004 MACAO-VLTI adaptive optics systems performance
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Abstract
In April and August ’03 two MACAO-VLTI curvature AO systems were installed on the VLT telescopes unit 2 and 3 in Paranal (Chile). These are 60 element systems using a 150mm bimorph deformable mirror and 60 APD’s as WFS detectors. Valuable integration & commissioning experience has been gained during these 2 missions. Several tests have been performed in order to evaluate system performance on the sky. The systems have proven to be extremely robust, performing in a stable fashion in extreme seeing condition (seeing up to 3”). Strehl ratio of 0.65 and residual tilt smaller than 10 mas have been obtained on the sky in 0.8” seeing condition. Weak guide source performance is also excellent with a strehl of 0.26 on a V~16 magnitude star. Several functionalities have been successfully tested including: chopping, off-axis guiding, atmospheric refraction compensation etc. The AO system can be used in a totally automatic fashion with a small overhead: the AO loop can be closed on the target less than 60 sec after star acquisition by the telescope. It includes reading the seeing value given by the site monitor, evaluate the guide star magnitude (cycling through neutral density filters) setting the close-loop AO parameters (system gain and vibrating membrane mirror stroke) including calculation of the command-matrix. The last 2 systems will be installed in August ’04 and in the course of 2005.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robin Arsenault, Rob Donaldson, Christophe Dupuy, Enrico Fedrigo, Norbert N. Hubin, Liviu Ivanescu, Markus Erdmann Kasper, Sylvain Oberti, Jerome Paufique, Silvio Rossi, Armin Silber, Bernhard Delabre, Jean-Louis Lizon, and Pierre Gigan "MACAO-VLTI adaptive optics systems performance", Proc. SPIE 5490, Advancements in Adaptive Optics, (25 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.552548; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.552548
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