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10 July 2008 Laser technology for astronomical adaptive optics
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In this paper we review the current status of work in the sodium guidestar laser arena from the perspective of an astronomical AO system developer and user. Sodium beacons provide the highest and most useful guidestars for the 8m and larger class telescopes, but unfortunately sodium lasers are expensive and difficult to build at high output powers. Here we present highlights of recent advancements in the laser technology. Perhaps most dramatic are the recent theoretical and experimental efforts leading to better understanding the physics of coupling the laser light to the upper altitude sodium for best return signal. In addition we will discuss the key issues which affect LGS AO system performance and their technology drivers, including: pulse format, guidestar elongation, crystal and fiber technology, and beam transport.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Donald Gavel "Laser technology for astronomical adaptive optics", Proc. SPIE 7015, Adaptive Optics Systems, 70150J (10 July 2008);

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