26 July 2016 Designing the METIS SCAO and LTAO systems
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Abstract
METIS, the Mid-nfrared E-ELT Imager and Spectrometer, will be providing high-sensitivity imaging and high-resolution spectroscopy in the mid-infrared (3-19 micrometer) to the E-ELT. In order to achieve the exceptional performance required by its driving science cases, exoplanets and proto-planetary disks, METIS will be featuring two Adaptive Optics (AO) systems — a first-light Single Conjugate Adaptive Optics (SCAO) system, complemented by a Laser Tomographic Adaptive Optics (LTAO) system, most likely, a few years after first light. METIS, being one of the three first light science instruments on the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), will be one of the first instruments using the integrated deformable mirror of the E-ELT for its Adaptive Optics (AO) correction.

The internal SCAO system designed to maximize the performance for bright targets and has its wavefront sensors (WFSs) build inside the METIS cryostat to minimize the number of warm surfaces towards the science detectors. Although the internal dichroic will reflect all light short wards of 3 micrometers towards the WFS, only the IR light will most likely be used, mainly due to the expected improved performance at longer wavelengths for the WFS. A trade-off has been made between both visible versus infrared wave front sensing as well as Pyramid versus Shack-Hartmann, under various observing conditions and target geometries, taking into account performance, target availability, reliability and technology readiness level. The base line for the SCAO system is to minimize system complexity, thereby ensuring system availability and reliability even under first-light conditions.

Since the SCAO system will require a bright guide star near the science target, it can only be used for a limited number of targets. The LTAO system, consisting of up to 6 LGS and up to 3 low-order NGS WFS and located outside the cryostat, is designed to increase the sky coverage on arbitrary targets to >80%. Investigations are ongoing if the internal SCAO system can be used as either a Low-Order WFS or metrology system.
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Remko Stuik, Markus Feldt, Stefan Hippler, Thomas Bertram, Silvia Scheithauer, Andreas Obereder, Daniela Saxenhuber, Bernhard Brandl, Matt Kenworthy, Rieks Jager, Lars Venema, "Designing the METIS SCAO and LTAO systems", Proc. SPIE 9909, Adaptive Optics Systems V, 99090B (26 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2233229; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2233229
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