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23 July 2008 ViLLaGEs: opto-mechanical design of an on-sky visible-light MEMS-based AO system
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Visible Light Laser Guidestar Experiments (ViLLaGEs) is a new Micro-Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) based visible-wavelength adaptive optics (AO) testbed on the Nickel 1-meter telescope at Lick Observatory. Closed loop Natural Guide Star (NGS) experiments were successfully carried out during engineering during the fall of 2007. This is a major evolutionary step, signaling the movement of AO technologies into visible light with a MEMS mirror. With on-sky Strehls in I-band of greater than 20% during second light tests, the science possibilities have become evident. Described here is the advanced engineering used in the design and construction of the ViLLaGEs system, comparing it to the LickAO infrared system, and a discussion of Nickel dome infrastructural improvements necessary for this system. A significant portion of the engineering discussion revolves around the sizable effort that went towards eliminating flexure. Then, we detail upgrades to ViLLaGEs to make it a facility class instrument. These upgrades will focus on Nyquist sampling the diffraction limited point spread function during open loop operations, motorization and automation for technician level alignments, adding dithering capabilities and changes for near infrared science.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Bryant Grigsby, Chris Lockwood, Brian Baumann, Don Gavel, Jess Johnson, S. Mark Ammons, Daren Dillon, Katie Morzinski, Marc Reinig, Dave Palmer, Scott Severson, and Elinor Gates "ViLLaGEs: opto-mechanical design of an on-sky visible-light MEMS-based AO system", Proc. SPIE 7018, Advanced Optical and Mechanical Technologies in Telescopes and Instrumentation, 701841 (23 July 2008);


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