21 July 2014 Strategies to cope with sodium layer profile variations in laser guide star AO systems
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The vertical profile of the mesospheric sodium layer varies significantly on a time scale of one minute. These variations can impact the random and systematic measurement errors of laser guide star Shack-Hartmann wave front sensors, particularly on extremely large telescopes. Sensor performance can be improved by selecting pixel processing weights matched to the sodium layer profile, assuming that the shape of the profile can be measured or estimated in real time. In this paper we describe the magnitude of these effects for the Thirty Meter Telescope AO system NFIRAOS. We review several existing approaches for measuring or estimating the sodium layer profile in real time. We then describe a new method for estimating the profile directly from the laser guide star wave front pixel intensities themselves, jointly with the subaperture tip/tilt measurements. The algorithm used for this purpose is based upon the multi-frame iterative blind deconvolution algorithm from image post processing: Subaperture tip/tilts and the sodium profile are estimated successively, bootstrapping the estimate of each quantity from the previous estimate of the other. We present promising initial simulation results on the potential performance of the algorithm, and suggest areas for future work.
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Brent L. Ellerbroek, Brent L. Ellerbroek, } "Strategies to cope with sodium layer profile variations in laser guide star AO systems", Proc. SPIE 9148, Adaptive Optics Systems IV, 91482A (21 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2054415; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2054415

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