15 October 2012 Multiple laser guide stars (LGS) for multiple conjugate adaptive optics (MCAO)
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Abstract
For wavefront sensing and control, the most extensive use of Mult-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO) systems for extended-path aberration compensation lies with the use of multiple Laser Guide Stars (LGS) for Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO). Ground-based adaptive optics systems were initially developed by the Starfire Optical Range (SOR) in 1983. Both Rayleigh guide stars and Na guide stars have been developed. More recently, both laser systems, Na LGS at 93 km and Rayleigh guide stars at 20 km, are being combined in the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) for multiple LGS for Multiple Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO) (M. Hart et al, 2011). Each side of the LBT has 3 Rayleigh LGS which are projected into two triangular constellations. A sodium LGS will be added to each aperture using the same launch optics as the Rayleigh beacons. This will combine low altitude Rayleigh LGS and high altitude Na laser guide stars into a uniquely powerful tomographic wavefront sensing system for Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics. Other observatories have used either Rayleigh guide stars or Na guide stars. ESO VLT has 4 Na LGS. MMT has 5 Rayleigh guide stars. Gemini Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics System (GEMS) has 5 Na LGS. The many multiple LGS MCAO observatories will be compared for effective design and projected performance.
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Katharine J. Jones, Katharine J. Jones, } "Multiple laser guide stars (LGS) for multiple conjugate adaptive optics (MCAO)", Proc. SPIE 8520, Unconventional Imaging and Wavefront Sensing 2012, 852002 (15 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.927779; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.927779
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