Sodium laser guide stars (LGS) will be used on extremely large telescopes (ELT) for increasing the sky coverage of adaptive optics systems. The thickness of the sodium layer combined with a perspective effect makes the laser beacon to appear as an elongated plume when observed from a pupil location distant from the laser launch telescope. The wave-front sensing with a Shack-Hartmann on such a peculiar object requires a large number of pixels per sub-aperture in order to cope with the required field of view. As a large number of sub-apertures is required on an ELT, this leads to detector formats exceeding 1500 × 1500 pixels. It is worth noticing however that most of these numerous pixels are useless, as many of them won't receive any light due to the arrangement of the pattern of spots. We present in this article some potential optical solutions for relaxing the requirements of the detector format by a significant amount. This is obtained by re-arranging the pattern of the elongated spots in order to avoid any loss of space between them. Depending on the geometry of the system, a factor of ≈2 on the pixel count can be gained along both directions.
E. Gendron, E. Gendron,
"Optical solutions for accommodating ELT LGS wave-front sensing to small format detectors", Proc. SPIE 9909, Adaptive Optics Systems V, 99095Z (27 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2234288; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2234288