28 June 2006 Scientific goals for the MMT's multilaser-guided adaptive optics
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Abstract
The MMT's five Rayleigh laser guide star system has successfully demonstrated open loop wavefront sensing for both ground-layer and laser tomography adaptive optics (AO). Closed loop correction is expected for the first time in the autumn of 2006. The program is moving into its second phase: construction of a permanent facility to feed AO instruments now used with the telescope's existing natural star AO system. The new facility will preserve the thermal cleanliness afforded by the system's adaptive secondary mirror. With the present laser power of 4 W in each of the Rayleigh beacons, we will first offer ground-layer correction over a 2 arcmin field in J, H, and K bands, with expected image quality routinely 0.2 arcsec or better. Later, we will also offer imaging and spectroscopy from 1.5 to 4.8 μm with a tomographically corrected diffraction limited beam. The development of these techniques will lead to a facility all-sky capability at the MMT for both ground-layer and diffraction-limited imaging, and will be a critical advance in the tools necessary for extremely large telescopes of the future, particularly the Giant Magellan Telescope. We describe the present state of system development, planned progress to completion, and highlight the early scientific applications.
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Michael Lloyd-Hart, Michael Lloyd-Hart, Thomas Stalcup, Thomas Stalcup, Christoph Baranec, Christoph Baranec, N. Mark Milton, N. Mark Milton, Matthew Rademacher, Matthew Rademacher, Miguel Snyder, Miguel Snyder, Michael Meyer, Michael Meyer, Daniel Eisenstein, Daniel Eisenstein, } "Scientific goals for the MMT's multilaser-guided adaptive optics", Proc. SPIE 6272, Advances in Adaptive Optics II, 62724J (28 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.672481; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.672481
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