Pyramid wavefront sensors (PWFS) have been agreed to provide a superior faint-end performance with respect to Shack-Hartmann systems (SHS) quite some time ago. However, much of the advantage relies on the fact that PWFSs exploit the full resolution limit of the telescope. ELTs will thus confront PWFSs with an unprecedented number of resolved targets. To analyze the behavior of PWFS on extended targets in detail observationally is difficult. We will present the result of simulations representing the Single-Conjugated Adaptive Optics (SCAO) system of METIS on the European ELT (E-ELT).
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.
We present a fast wavefront reconstruction algorithm developed for an extreme adaptive optics system equipped with a pyramid wavefront sensor on a 42m telescope. The method is called the Preprocessed Cumulative Reconstructor with domain decomposition (P-CuReD). The algorithm is based on the theoretical relationship between pyramid and Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor data. The algorithm consists of two consecutive steps - a data preprocessing, and an application of the CuReD algorithm, which is a fast method for wavefront reconstruction from Shack-Hartmann sensor data. The closed loop simulation results show that the P-CuReD method provides the same reconstruction quality and is significantly faster than an MVM.