We present recent developments on deformable mirrors (DM) for astronomy with ground-based telescopes. A new generation of actuators with high reliability and high performances has been developed for Stack Array Mirrors. These actuators are suitable for a large range of DMs, including future needs for Extremely Large Telescopes. Design and modelling of large DMs for Thirty Meter Telescope and European Extremely Large Telescope are presented. The Monomorph mirrors combines simplicity and efficiency to correct the wavefront deformation. Astronomical telescopes can benefit of the developments performed on this Monomorph technology for high power laser chains and for spaceborn instrumentation.
The TMT first light Adaptive Optics (AO) facility consists of the Narrow Field Infra-Red AO System (NFIRAOS) and the associated Laser Guide Star Facility (LGSF). NFIRAOS is a 60 × 60 laser guide star (LGS) multi-conjugate AO (MCAO) system, which provides uniform, diffraction-limited performance in the J, H, and K bands over 17-30 arc sec diameter fields with 50 per cent sky coverage at the galactic pole, as required to support the TMT science cases. NFIRAOS includes two deformable mirrors, six laser guide star wavefront sensors, and three low-order, infrared, natural guide star wavefront sensors within each client instrument. The first light LGSF system includes six sodium lasers required to generate the NFIRAOS laser guide stars. In this paper, we will provide an update on the progress in designing, modeling and validating the TMT first light AO systems and their components over the last two years. This will include pre-final design and prototyping activities for NFIRAOS, preliminary design and prototyping activities for the LGSF, design and prototyping for the deformable mirrors, fabrication and tests for the visible detectors, benchmarking and comparison of different algorithms and processing architecture for the Real Time Controller (RTC) and development and tests of prototype candidate lasers. Comprehensive and detailed AO modeling is continuing to support the design and development of the first light AO facility. Main modeling topics studied during the last two years include further studies in the area of wavefront error budget, sky coverage, high precision astrometry for the galactic center and other observations, high contrast imaging with NFIRAOS and its first light instruments, Point Spread Function (PSF) reconstruction for LGS MCAO, LGS photon return and sophisticated low order mode temporal filtering.
We present recent experimental results obtained with CILAS deformable mirrors (DMs) or demonstration prototypes in solar and night-time astronomy (with ground-based telescopes) as well as observation of the Earth (with space telescopes). These important results have been reached thanks to CILAS technology range composed of monomorph and piezostack deformable mirrors, drivers and optical coatings. For instance, the monomorph technology, due to a simple architecture can offer a very good reliability for space applications. It can be used for closed or open loop correction of the primary mirror deformation (thermal and polishing aberrations, absence of gravity). It can also allow a real-time correction of wavefront aberrations introduced by the atmosphere up to relatively high spatial and temporal frequencies for ground-based telescopes. The piezostack technology is useful for very high order correction at high frequency and under relatively low operational temperature (down to -30°C), which is required for future Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs). This wide range of applications is exposed through recent examples of DMs performances in operation and results obtained with breadboards, allowing promising DMs for future needs.
We provide an update on the development of the first light adaptive optics systems for the Thirty Meter Telescope
(TMT) over the past two years. The first light AO facility for TMT consists of the Narrow Field Infra-Red AO
System (NFIRAOS) and the associated Laser Guide Star Facility (LGSF). This order 60 × 60 laser guide star
(LGS) multi-conjugate AO (MCAO) architecture will provide uniform, diffraction-limited performance in the
J, H, and K bands over 17-30 arc sec diameter fields with 50 per cent sky coverage at the galactic pole, as
is required to support TMT science cases. Both NFIRAOS and the LGSF have successfully completed design
reviews during the last twelve months. We also report on recent progress in AO component prototyping, control
algorithm development, and system performance analysis.
In order to prepare for the construction phase of the two Deformable Mirrors (DMs), which will be used in the Thirty
Meter Telescope (TMT) first light Adaptive Optics (AO) system, Cilas has advanced the design of these two large size
piezo DMs and has manufactured and tested a scaled demonstration prototype. The work done allowed significant
reduction of the risks related to the demanding specifications of the TMT DMs; the main issues were: (i) Large pupil (up
to 370 mm) and high order (up to 74x74); (ii) Relatively low operational temperature (DMs working at -30°C); (iii) New
piezo material. It is important to develop such a prototype to take into account these three specifications all together
(dimension, low temperature and new piezo material). The new prototype is a 6x60 actuators and has the same characteristics as the future TMT DMs. In this paper, we give the conclusions of the work through the presentation of the following items: (i) Design and finite element analysis of the two DMs and prototype; (ii) Test results obtained with the prototype with validation of the finite element analysis and compliance with the TMT AO specifications; (iii) Special focus on thermal behavior, actuator reliability and shape at rest stability.
Laser cutting of paper is widely used in the paper conversion industry. CO2 lasers are well suited for this type of applications. Desktop printing is a large market both for digital photography, document management and graphics applications, but it still lacks advanced cutting and scoring ability, and CO2 lasers seem costly to be integrated in mass-market printers. For that reason, mass-scalable and low-cost semiconductor laser diodes would be very advantageous to add paper cutting and scoring features in desktop printers. However, common paper can not be cut properly using visible or Near Infrared (NIR) laser diode since it has a very poor absorption at these wavelengths. We report here an innovative solution to achieve paper cutting or scoring using a 1 W single emitter NIR laser diode, within an inkjet printer. A special ink that absorbs the NIR light, and that penetrates all through the paper, is first disposed on the lines to be cut. Then, the laser diode goes along the lines to be cut. We show that a cutting speed of 2m/min can be achieved on 80g/m2 conventional paper. The influence of the optical properties of the ink on the cutting speed are discussed, as well as focussing issues. In particular, we show that invisible inks are suitable, and very clear-cut edges can be obtained. The perspective of this technique are discussed.