Gemini Observatory has been awarded a major funding from the National Science Foundation to build a complete new state of the art multi-conjugate adaptive optics system for Gemini North. The system will be designed to provide an MCAO facility delivering close to diffraction limit correction in the near-infrared over a 2 arcminutes field of view and feed imaging and spectroscopic instruments. We present in this paper the results of the conceptual design phase with details on the new proposed laser guide star facilities and adaptive optics bench. We will present results on the performance simulation assessments as well as the developed selected science cases.
Extracting science from the LSST data stream requires a detailed knowledge of the properties of the LSST catalogs and
images (from their detection limits to the accuracy of the calibration to how well galaxy shapes can be characterized).
These properties will depend on many of the LSST components including the design of the telescope, the conditions
under which the data are taken and the overall survey strategy. To understand how these components impact the nature
of the LSST data the simulations group is developing a framework for high fidelity simulations that scale to the volume
of data expected from the LSST. This framework comprises galaxy, stellar and solar system catalogs designed to match
the depths and properties of the LSST (to r=28), transient and moving sources, and image simulations that ray-trace the
photons from above the atmosphere through the optics and to the camera. We describe here the state of the current
simulation framework and its computational challenges.
Over the last decade, we have witnessed that the fabrication of 200 - 2000 mm scale have received relatively little attention from the fabrication technology development, compared to those of smaller than 200 mm and of larger than 2000 mm in diameter. As a result, the optical surfaces of these scales are still predominantly completed by small optics shops where opticians apply the traditional technique for polishing. Lack of tools in aiding opticians for planning, executing and analyzing their polishing work is a root cause for long and, sometimes, unpredictable delivery and high manufacturing cost for such optical surfaces. We present the on-going development of a software simulation environment called Surface Analysis and Fabrication Environment (SAFE). It is primarily intended to increase the throughput of polishing and testing cycles by allowing opticians to simulate the resulting surface form and roughness with input polishing variables. A brief review of current polishing techniques and their target optics clarifies the need for such simulation tool. This is followed by the development targets and a preliminary simulation plan using the developmental version of SAFE. Among many polishing variables, two removal assumptions and three different types of removal functions we used for the polishing simulation presented. The simulations show that the Gaussian removal function with the proportional removal assumption resulted in the fastest, though marginal, convergence to a super-polished surface of 0.56 micron Peat- to-Valley in form accuracy and of 0.02 nanometer in surface roughness Ra. Other meaningful results and their implications are also presented.