Adaptive beam shaping is a critical part of multiple Laser Guide Stars (LGS) for Multiple Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO) for ground-based astronomical telescopes. There are two kinds of Laser Guide Stars: Na Laser Guide Stars (at 589 nm and 92 km altitude) and Rayleigh Laser Guide Stars (at
532 nm and 20 km altitude). Multiple Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO) corrects for each "layer" of atmosphere independently. Multiple Laser Guide Stars are being developed to achieve a measure of tilt and increase the isoplanatic patch. Multiple Laser Guide Stars are being combined with Multiple Conjugate Optics in the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT): more than one Laser Guide Star (4-5) and two different wavelengths: 589 nm and 532 nm. Other observatories have multiple Laser Guide Stars but only one wavelength: 589 nm or 532 nm. Because Laser Guide Stars are launched into the atmosphere, adaptive beam shaping will be carried out before the laser is launched and will be different depending on which laser is being used, presumably to effect the tightest beam which can be achieved
at the power level which is required to provide the requisite return to gound-based wavefront sensors.
A complete range of devices are used. Beam attenuation and divergnece will take place. Multiple Laser Guide Stars of major observatories (SOR, LBT, MMT, ESO VLT and Gemini South) will be evaluated for effective adaptive beam shaping and impact on performance