4 August 2014 Optical design trade-offs of the multi conjugate adaptive optics relay for the European Extremely Large Telescope
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Abstract
The scope of this paper is to describe some possible design concepts of the post optical relay inside the multi conjugate adaptive optics module for the European Extremely Large Telescope. The module is planned to be placed at the Nasmyth focus of the telescope. The optical relay must re-image the telescope focal plane with diffraction limited performance and low geometric distortion, for a field of view of 75” and for a wavelength range between 0.8 and 2.4μm. A technical annular field of view with inner diameter of 75” and outer diameter of 160” to search 3 for natural guide stars is also required. Wavefront sensing is performed by means of 6 laser guide stars arranged on a circle of at least 120” diameter while wavefront correction is performed by two deformable mirrors inside the relay, in addition to the telescope adaptive mirror. The final optical design will be a trade-off among adaptive optics performance, optical interface requirements, mechanical interface requirements and technological feasibility of key hardware components. The size of the deformable mirrors and the image quality of the layer conjugates are important design drivers, related to the design of the collimating optics after the input focal plane and to the deformable mirrors tilt respect to the chief ray. The optical interface at the output focal plane must be acceptable for the client instruments, in terms of field curvature, focal ratio and exit pupil position. The number of optical surfaces inside the relay has to be as small as possible to limit thermal background. Splitting of the laser guide star channel from the science light channel may be achieved either in wavelength, by means of a dichroic placed close to a pupil image, or in field, by means of an perforated dichroic placed at an intermediate focal plane. The laser guide star beams have to be focused with acceptable optical performance on a fixed image plane compensating the effects of the sodium layer range variation with Zenith angle during observations. Other relay configurations, in the case of further client instruments to be fed by the relay, are under investigation. The designs must also take into consideration the required clearance among the optical elements to avoid vignetting and mechanical interference issues, while fitting in the available space on the telescope Nasmyth platform. In this paper two different optical design configurations are analysed, taking into account all these aspects. For all the proposed designs the optical performance will be presented.
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Matteo Lombini, Emiliano Diolaiti, Adriano De Rosa, "Optical design trade-offs of the multi conjugate adaptive optics relay for the European Extremely Large Telescope", Proc. SPIE 9148, Adaptive Optics Systems IV, 91486K (4 August 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2055901; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2055901
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