21 July 2014 Large binocular telescope interferometer adaptive optics: on-sky performance and lessons learned
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Abstract
The Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer is a high contrast imager and interferometer that sits at the combined bent Gregorian focus of the LBT’s dual 8.4 m apertures. The interferometric science drivers dictate 0.1” resolution with 103 − 104 contrast at 10 μm, while the 4 μm imaging science drivers require even greater contrasts, but at scales <0.2”. In imaging mode, LBTI’s Adaptive Optics system is already delivering 4 μm contrast of 104 − 105 at 0.3" − 0.75" in good conditions. Even in poor seeing, it can deliver up to 90% Strehl Ratio at this wavelength. However, the performance could be further improved by mitigating Non-Common Path Aberrations. Any NCPA remedy must be feasible using only the current hardware: the science camera, the wavefront sensor, and the adaptive secondary mirror. In preliminary testing, we have implemented an “eye doctor” grid search approach for astigmatism and trefoil, achieving 5% improvement in Strehl Ratio at 4 μm, with future plans to test at shorter wavelengths and with more modes. We find evidence of NCPA variability on short timescales and discuss possible upgrades to ameliorate time-variable effects.
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Vanessa P. Bailey, Vanessa P. Bailey, Philip M. Hinz, Philip M. Hinz, Alfio T. Puglisi, Alfio T. Puglisi, Simone Esposito, Simone Esposito, Vidhya Vaitheeswaran, Vidhya Vaitheeswaran, Andrew J. Skemer, Andrew J. Skemer, Denis Defrère, Denis Defrère, Amali Vaz, Amali Vaz, Jarron M. Leisenring, Jarron M. Leisenring, } "Large binocular telescope interferometer adaptive optics: on-sky performance and lessons learned", Proc. SPIE 9148, Adaptive Optics Systems IV, 914803 (21 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2057138; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2057138
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