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26 July 2016 Keck II laser guide star AO system and performance with the TOPTICA/MPBC laser
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Abstract
The Keck II Laser Guide Star (LGS) Adaptive Optics (AO) System was upgraded from a dye laser to a TOPTICA/MPBC Raman-Fibre Amplification (RFA) laser in December 2015. The W. M. Keck Observatory (WMKO) has been operating its AO system with a LGS for science since 2004 using a first generation 15 W dye laser. Using the latest diode pump laser technology, Raman amplification, and a well-tuned second harmonic generator (SHG), this Next Generation Laser (NGL) is able to produce a highly stable 589 nm laser beam with the required power, wavelength and mode quality. The beam’s linear polarization and continuous wave format along with optical back pumping are designed to improve the sodium atom coupling efficiency over previously operated sodium-wavelength lasers. The efficiency and operability of the new laser has also been improved by reducing its required input power and cooling, size, and the manpower to operate and maintain it.

The new laser has been implemented on the telescope’s elevation ring with its electronics installed on a new Nasmyth sub-platform, with the capacity to support up to three laser systems for future upgrades. The laser is projected from behind the telescope’s secondary mirror using the recently implemented center launch system (CLS) to reduce LGS spot size. We will present the new laser system and its performance with respect to power, stability, wavelength, spot size, optical repumping, polarization, efficiency, and its return with respect to pointing alignment to the magnetic field. Preliminary LGSAO performance is presented with the system returning to science operations. We will also provide an update on current and future upgrades at the WMKO.
© (2016) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jason C. Y. Chin, Peter Wizinowich, Ed Wetherell, Scott Lilley, Sylvain Cetre, Sam Ragland, Drew Medeiros, Kevin Tsubota, Greg Doppmann, Angel Otarola, and Kai Wei "Keck II laser guide star AO system and performance with the TOPTICA/MPBC laser", Proc. SPIE 9909, Adaptive Optics Systems V, 99090S (26 July 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2233138
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