We report on the successful delivery of a 30 W solid-state sodium Guide Star Laser System (GLS) to the W. M. Keck
Observatory in 2009, and the demonstration of a 55 W GLS delivered to the Gemini South Observatory in 2010. This
paper describes the GLS performance results of both the Keck I and Gemini South GLSs with an emphasis on the system
design and delivered performance. The 589 nm output was generated via Sum Frequency Mixing (SFM) of 1064 nm
and 1319 nm Nd:YAG lasers in a LBO (Lithium Triborate) nonlinear crystal. The Keck GLS underwent extensive
testing and has demonstrated consistent performance with a CW mode-locked output of > 30 W and measured beam
quality of M<sup>2</sup> < 1.2 while locked to the sodium D2a transition. The Keck GLS was installed on the telescope in late 2009
and first light on the sky was achieved in early 2010. Factory testing of the Gemini South GLS shows a CW modelocked
output of > 55 W and measured M<sup>2</sup> ~1.2 while locked to the sodium D2a line center. The Gemini South GLS has
produced a maximum power of 76 W at 589 nm with 85 W of 1319 nm and 110 W of 1064 nm as inputs to the SFM,
representing a single-pass conversion efficiency of 39%.
Lockheed Martin Coherent Technologies has developed 20 W and 50 W commercial solid-state sodium beacon Guidestar Laser Systems (GLS) for the Keck I and Gemini South telescopes, respectively. This work represents a critical step toward addressing the need of the astronomical adaptive optics (AO) community, including multi-conjugate AO and AO tomography for future extremely large telescopes. This paper describes the status of GLS for the Keck I and Gemini South telescopes. The design and experimental results of the laser oscillators, amplifiers and sum-frequency generator will be discussed.
Lockheed Martin Coherent Technologies (LMCT) is developing 20 W and 50 W commercial solid-state sodium beacon Guidestar Laser Systems (GLS) for the Keck I and Gemini South telescopes, respectively. This work represents a critical step toward addressing the need of the astronomical adaptive optics (AO) community for a standardized, robust, turn-key, commercial GLS that can be configured for different observatory facilities and for different AO formats - including multi-conjugate AO (MCAO) and future extremely large telescopes. These modular systems build on the proven laser technologies, user-friendly interface, and low maintenance design that were developed for the successful 12 W GLS delivered by LMCT to the Gemini North telescope in February 2005. This paper describes the GLS requirements for the Keck I and Gemini South telescopes, the design of the laser oscillators, amplifiers, sum-frequency generator, and diagnostics; the functionality of the automated remote laser control system; size, weight, power, and performance data; and the current status of the programs.