13 September 2012 Image quality and high contrast improvements on VLT/NACO
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Abstract
NACO is the famous and versatile diffraction limited NIR imager and spectrograph at the VLT with which ESO celebrated 10 years of Adaptive Optics. Since two years a substantial effort has been put in understanding and fixing issues that directly affect the image quality and the high contrast performances of the instrument. Experiments to compensate the non-common-path aberrations and recover the highest possible Strehl ratios have been carried out successfully and a plan is hereafter described to perform such measurements regularly. The drift associated to pupil tracking since 2007 was fixed in october 2011. NACO is therefore even more suited for high contrast imaging and can be used with coronagraphic masks in the image plane. Some contrast measurements are shown and discussed. The work accomplished on NACO will serve as reference for the next generation instruments on the VLT, especially the ones working at the diffraction limit and making use of angular differential imaging (i.e. SPHERE, VISIR, and possibly ERIS).
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Julien H. V. Girard, Jared O'Neal, Dimitri Mawet, Markus Kasper, Gérard Zins, Benoît Neichel, Johann Kolb, Valentin Christiaens, Martin Tourneboeuf, "Image quality and high contrast improvements on VLT/NACO", Proc. SPIE 8447, Adaptive Optics Systems III, 84470L (13 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.925660; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.925660
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