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28 June 2006 Adaptive optics quality metrics and the user constraint set for VLTI
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Abstract
The ESO VLT Interferometer (VLTI) is a general-user facility and is operated in service mode (SM) for a large part of the available time. An important aspect of this SM observing mode is the definition of a set of critical observing conditions that must be met at the time of executing the requested observation. There are a number of observing constraints that are specific to interferometric observations, such as the choice of the array configuration and the hour angle at time of observation, which is processed during the scheduling. On the other hand, classical constraints such as the regular seeing or the lunar illumination are less critical for observations using VLTI instruments than for those using classical VLT instruments. In particular, the use of the adaptive optics system MACAO for VLTI observations employing the Unit Telescopes (UTs) ensures a very good image quality even for moderate environmental conditions. However, the exact dependence between environmental conditions, the performance of the MACAO systems, the wavefront quality at the interferometric instruments, and the accuracy of the final visibility, are not yet known in much detail. In order to investigate this dependence we have started to monitor routinely the environmental conditions, the quality of the MACAO systems, the quality of the acquisition images, and the final data product for all VLTI observations since June 2005. Here, we present the details of this study, as well as first statistics and results.
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I. Percheron, M. Wittkowski, R. Donaldson, E. Fedrigo, C. Lidman, S. Morel, F. Rantakyro, M. Schoeller, and A. Wallander "Adaptive optics quality metrics and the user constraint set for VLTI", Proc. SPIE 6268, Advances in Stellar Interferometry, 626842 (28 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.671221; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.671221
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