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.