At Paranal Observatory in the YEPUN (UT4) telescope, two instruments are installed and equipped
with adaptive optics systems: an infrared spectro imager (CONICA) below the adaptive optics
module NAOS; and an integral field spectrograph (SINFONI). In the same telescope, the Laser
Guide Star Facility (LGSF) is installed to provide a reference star to the adaptive optics systems. The
LGSF is tuned to the sodium D2 line to use the resonance fluorescence of atomic sodium in the
mesospheric layer at an altitude of 90 Km.
The LGSF system has been fully operational for several years now. During this time, important
modifications have been made to the system to increase its availability, simplify its remote operation
and improve its performance.
In this contribution, we report on the latest upgrades in hardware as well as the software of the
system. Some upgrades like the exchange of the cooling system of the VERDI lasers, as well as the
exchange of motors in the PARSEC laser system, have been critical to improve the performance of
the system. We also describe the improvements in the maintenance and operation procedures and
operational constraints we have faced so far. Finally, we present and analyze the latest technical
performance achieved by the LGSF in operational conditions.
This presentation provides interesting miscellaneous information regarding the instrumentation activities at Paranal
Observatory. It introduces the suite of 23 instruments and auxiliary systems that are under the responsibility of the
Paranal Instrumentation group, information on the type of instruments, their usage and downtime statistics. The data is
based on comprehensive data recorded in the Paranal Night Log System and the Paranal Problem Reporting System
whose principles are explained as well. The work organization of the 15 team members around the high number of
instruments is laid out, which includes:
- Maintaining older instruments with obsolete components
- Receiving new instruments and supporting their integration and commissioning
- Contributing to future instruments in their developing phase.
The assignments of the Instrumentation staff to the actual instruments as well as auxiliary equipment (Laser Guide Star
Facility, Mask Manufacturing Unit, Cloud Observation Tool) are explained with respect to responsibility and scheduling
issues. The essential activities regarding hardware & software are presented, as well as the technical and organizational
developments within the group towards its present and future challenges.
In this contribution, we will present the approach used to manage the operational problems of the Laser Guide Star Facility (LGSF) installed in the Yepun telescope at La Silla Paranal Observatory. In this scope we will introduce the Paranal Problem Report System (PPRS) and the LGSF breakdown structure created to track and analyze the technical problems using the PPRS system. The early introduction of this tool has allowed us to accumulate enough data to review the evolution of the LGSF and its respective subsystem based on the problems reports frequency in a monthly basis. The analysis shows the frequency evolution over time considering the complete LGSF system and also the ratio of problems frequency to LGS usage per month. In addition, a cumulative approach is also used to provide information about the fraction of the problems originated by each subsystem since the beginning of the operations.
The Laser Guide Star Facility (LGSF) is installed on the UT4 (Yepun) telescope at Paranal Observatory in Chile. On the
same telescope, two instruments are equipped with adaptive optics: an infrared spectro imager (CONICA) below the
adaptive optics module NAOS; and an integral field spectrograph (SINFONI). The LGSF is tuned to the sodium D2 line
to generate an artificial reference star, for both CONICA and SINFONI.
Although the LGSF is a complex laser system, rather different from the other instruments at Paranal, it has been
designed to run remotely without any hand-on tuning for a period of one week. The LGSF system has now been in
operation for several months, in conjunction with the Aircraft camera Avoidance System (AAS).
In this article, we report on the technical performance achieved by the LGSF in operational conditions. We also provide
a summary of the technical problems and operational constraints we have faced so far. We present the current operations
and maintenance procedures implemented at Paranal.
We also present the evolution of the human resources needed to operate and maintain the LGSF operational from
commissioning to routine operations.
Finally, we discuss possible improvements to reduce the workload to maintain and operate the LGSF.
Two teams of scientists and engineers at Max Planck Institut fuer Extraterrestrische Physik and at the European Southern Observatory have joined forces to design, build and install the Laser Guide Star Facility for the VLT.
The Laser Guide Star Facility has now been completed and installed on the VLT Yepun telescope at Cerro Paranal. In this paper we report on the first light and first results from the Commissioning of the LGSF.
The European Southern Observatory (ESO) operates its Very Large Telescope (VLT) on Cerro Paranal (Chile) with to date 11 scientific instruments including two interferometric instruments and their numerous auxiliary systems at 4 Unit Telescopes (UTs) and 3 Auxiliary Telescopes (ATs). The rigorous application of preventive and corrective maintenance procedures and a close monitoring of the instruments' engineering data streams are the key ingredient towards the minimization of the technical downtime of the instruments. The extensive use of standardized hardware and software components and their strict configuration control is considered crucial to efficiently manage the large number of systems with the limited human and technical resources available. A close collaboration between the instrument engineers, the instrument scientists in instrument operation teams (IOTs) turns out to be vital to maintain and to the performance of the instrumentation suite. In this paper, the necessary tools, workflows, and organizational structures to achieve these objectives are presented.
We report in this paper on the current activities of the Laser Guide Star group at ESO. We are building the Laser Guide Star Facility on the VLT UT4, we are pushing new technologies in view of multiple LGS and future ELT LGS-AO systems. We are studying new LGS propagation/sensing schemes, to get rid of the LGS cone effect. We are also fostering in member states countries the development of fast sensors to deal with pulsed lasers atmospheric layer sensing.