7 August 2014 Pathfinder first light: alignment, calibration, and commissioning of the LINC-NIRVANA ground-layer adaptive optics subsystem
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Abstract
We present descriptions of the alignment and calibration tests of the Pathfinder, which achieved first light during our 2013 commissioning campaign at the LBT. The full LINC-NIRVANA instrument is a Fizeau interferometric imager with fringe tracking and 2-layer natural guide star multi-conjugate adaptive optics (MCAO) systems on each eye of the LBT. The MCAO correction for each side is achieved using a ground layer wavefront sensor that drives the LBT adaptive secondary mirror and a mid-high layer wavefront sensor that drives a Xinetics 349 actuator DM conjugated to an altitude of 7.1 km. When the LINC-NIRVANA MCAO system is commissioned, it will be one of only two such systems on an 8-meter telescope and the only such system in the northern hemisphere. In order to mitigate risk, we take a modular approach to commissioning by decoupling and testing the LINC-NIRVANA subsystems individually. The Pathfinder is the ground-layer wavefront sensor for the DX eye of the LBT. It uses 12 pyramid wavefront sensors to optically co-add light from natural guide stars in order to make four pupil images that sense ground layer turbulence. Pathfinder is now the first LINC-NIRVANA subsystem to be fully integrated with the telescope and commissioned on sky. Our 2013 commissioning campaign consisted of 7 runs at the LBT with the tasks of assembly, integration and communication with the LBT telescope control system, alignment to the telescope optical axis, off-sky closed loop AO calibration, and finally closed loop on-sky AO. We present the programmatics of this campaign, along with the novel designs of our alignment scheme and our off-sky calibration test, which lead to the Pathfinder’s first on-sky closed loop images.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Derek Kopon, Al Conrad, Carmelo Arcidiacono, Tom Herbst, Valentina Viotto, Jacopo Farinato, Maria Bergomi, Roberto Ragazzoni, Luca Marafatto, Harald Baumeister, Thomas Bertram, Jürgen Berwein, Florian Briegel, Ralph Hofferbert, Frank Kittmann, Martin Kürster, Lars Mohr, Kalyan Radhakrishnan, "Pathfinder first light: alignment, calibration, and commissioning of the LINC-NIRVANA ground-layer adaptive optics subsystem", Proc. SPIE 9148, Adaptive Optics Systems IV, 914828 (7 August 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2056737; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2056737
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