21 July 2014 KAPAO first light: the design, construction and operation of a low-cost natural guide star adaptive optics system
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We present the instrument design and first light observations of KAPAO, a natural guide star adaptive optics (AO) system for the Pomona College Table Mountain Observatory (TMO) 1-meter telescope. The KAPAO system has dual science channels with visible and near-infrared cameras, a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor, and a commercially available 140-actuator MEMS deformable mirror. The pupil relays are two pairs of custom off-axis parabolas and the control system is based on a version of the Robo-AO control software. The AO system and telescope are remotely operable, and KAPAO is designed to share the Cassegrain focus with the existing TMO polarimeter. We discuss the extensive integration of undergraduate students in the program including the multiple senior theses/capstones and summer assistantships amongst our partner institutions. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0960343.
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Scott A. Severson, Philip I. Choi, Katherine E. Badham, Dalton Bolger, Daniel S. Contreras, Blaine N. Gilbreth, Christian Guerrero, Erik Littleton, Joseph Long, Lorcan P. McGonigle, William A. Morrison, Fernando Ortega, Alex R. Rudy, Jonathan R. Wong, Erik Spjut, Christoph Baranec, Reed Riddle, "KAPAO first light: the design, construction and operation of a low-cost natural guide star adaptive optics system", Proc. SPIE 9148, Adaptive Optics Systems IV, 914839 (21 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2056961; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2056961


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