The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Optical Simulation Testbed (JOST) is a tabletop experiment designed to study wavefront sensing and control for a segmented space telescope, such as JWST. With the JWST Science and Operations Center co-located at STScI, JOST was developed to provide both a platform for staff training and to test alternate wavefront sensing and control strategies for independent validation or future improvements beyond the baseline operations. The design of JOST reproduces the physics of JWST’s three-mirror anastigmat (TMA) using three custom aspheric lenses. It provides similar quality image as JWST (80% Strehl ratio) over a field equivalent to a NIRCam module, but at 633 nm. An Iris AO segmented mirror stands for the segmented primary mirror of JWST. Actuators allow us to control (1) the 18 segments of the segmented mirror in piston, tip, tilt and (2) the second lens, which stands for the secondary mirror, in tip, tilt and x, y, z positions. We present the most recent experimental results for the segmented mirror alignment. Our implementation of the Wavefront Sensing (WFS) algorithms using phase diversity is tested on simulation and experimentally. The wavefront control (WFC) algorithms, which rely on a linear model for optical aberrations induced by misalignment of the secondary lens and the segmented mirror, are tested and validated both on simulations and experimentally. In this proceeding, we present the performance of the full active optic control loop in presence of perturbations on the segmented mirror, and we detail the quality of the alignment correction.
The James Webb Space Telescopes segmented primary and deployable secondary mirrors will be actively con- trolled to achieve optical alignment through a complex series of steps that will extend across several months during the observatory's commissioning. This process will require an intricate interplay between individual wavefront sensing and control tasks, instrument-level checkout and commissioning, and observatory-level calibrations, which involves many subsystems across both the observatory and the ground system. Furthermore, commissioning will often exercise observatory capabilities under atypical circumstances, such as fine guiding with unstacked or defocused images, or planning targeted observations in the presence of substantial time-variable offsets to the telescope line of sight. Coordination for this process across the JWST partnership has been conducted through the Wavefront Sensing and Control Operations Working Group. We describe at a high level the activities of this group and the resulting detailed commissioning operations plans, supporting software tools development, and ongoing preparations activities at the Science and Operations Center. For each major step in JWST's wavefront sensing and control, we also explain the changes and additions that were needed to turn an initial operations concept into a flight-ready plan with proven tools. These efforts are leading to a robust and well-tested process and preparing the team for an efficient and successful commissioning of JWSTs active telescope.
We present the instrument design and first light observations of KAPAO, a natural guide star adaptive optics (AO) system for the Pomona College Table Mountain Observatory (TMO) 1-meter telescope. The KAPAO system has dual science channels with visible and near-infrared cameras, a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor, and a commercially available 140-actuator MEMS deformable mirror. The pupil relays are two pairs of custom off-axis parabolas and the control system is based on a version of the Robo-AO control software. The AO system and telescope are remotely operable, and KAPAO is designed to share the Cassegrain focus with the existing TMO polarimeter. We discuss the extensive integration of undergraduate students in the program including the multiple senior theses/capstones and summer assistantships amongst our partner institutions. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0960343.