The volume available on-board small satellites limit the optical aperture to a few centimetres, which limits the GroundSampling Distance (GSD) in the visible to approximately 3 m at 500 km. We present the latest development of a laboratory demonstrator for a deployable telescope that will triple the achievable ground resolution and quadruple the photometric capability from a CubeSat imager. In this paper, we present the overall opto-mechanical design of a Cassegrain telescope with a segmented primary mirror with a 30 cm baseline. The segments are folded for launch and unfold in space. To enable diffraction-limited imaging, piston, tip, and tilt (PTT) on each of the mirror segments should be below 12 nm RMS. The key challenge is to ensure phasing, and this precision level will require an active phasing stage. We present laboratory results of deployment and active phasing of the primary mirror segments. The initial deployment is performed using shaped memory alloy that deploy mirror segments. We demonstrate a repeatability below ±4.5 μm, enabling the four PSFs (one for each mirror segment) to be imaged on the detector simultaneously. An alignment step using compact and calibrated capacitive sensors allows for a control of the mirror positions in PTT below the wavelength. Finally, we investigate the sensitivity of misalignments of a deployable secondary mirror and show that it is well within reach of the technology developed in this study.
The volume available on-board small satellites limit the optical aperture to a few centimetres, which limits the Ground- Sampling Distance (GSD) in the visible to approximately 3 m at 500 km. We present a performance analysis of the concept of a deployable CubeSat telescope. This payload will allow a tripling of the ground resolution achievable from a CubeSat imager, hence allowing very high resolution imaging from Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The project combines precision opto-mechanical deployment and cophasing of the mirrors segments using active optics. The payload has the potential of becoming a new off-the-shelf standardised system to be proposed for all high angular resolution imaging missions using CubeSats or similar nanosats. Ultimately, this technology will develop new instrumentation and technology for small satellite platforms with a primary mirror size equal or larger than 30 cm. In this paper, we present the breakdown of the different error sources that may affect the final optical quality and propose cophasing strategies. We show that the piston, tip and tilt aberrations may need to be as small as 15 nm RMS to allow for diffraction-limited imaging. By taking a co-conception approach, i.e. by taking into account the post-processing capability such as deconvolution, we believe these constraints may be somewhat released. Finally, we show numerical simulation of different solutions allowing the aberrations of the primary mirror segments.
HARMONI is the adaptive optics assisted, near-infrared and visible light integral field spectrograph for the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). A first light instrument, it provides the work-horse spectroscopic capability for the ELT. As the project approaches its Final Design Review milestone, the design of the instrument is being finalized, and the plans for assembly, integration and testing are being detailed. We present an overview of the instrument’s capabilities from a user perspective, provide a summary of the instrument’s design, including plans for operations and calibrations, and provide a brief glimpse of the predicted performance for a specific observing scenario. The paper also provides some details of the consortium composition and its evolution since the project commenced in 2015.
As already noticed in other telescopes, the presence of large telescope spiders and of a segmented deformable mirror in an Adaptive Optics system leads to pupil fragmentation and may create phase discontinuities. On the ELT telescope, a typical effect is the differential piston, where all disconnected areas of the pupil create their own piston, unseen locally but drastically degrading the final image quality. The poor sensitivity of the Pyramid WFS to differential piston will lead to these modes been badly seen and therefore badly controlled by the adaptive optics (AO) loop. In close loop operation, differential pistons between segments will start to appear and settle around integer values of the average sensing wavelength. These additional differential pistons are artificially injected by the adaptive optics control loop but do not have any real physical origin, contrary to the Low Wind Effect. In an attempt to reduce the impact of unwanted differential pistons that are injected by the AO loop, we propose a novel approach based on the pair-wise coupling of the actuators sitting on the edges of the deformable mirror segments. In this paper, we present the correction principle, its performance in nominal seeing condition, and its robustness relative to changing seeing conditions, wind speed and natural guide star magnitude. We show that the edge actuator coupling is a simple and robust solution and that the additional quadratic error relative to the reference case (i.e. no spiders) is of only 40 nm RMS, well within the requirements for HARMONI.
This paper introduces the science software of HARMONI. The Instrument Numerical Model simulates the instrument from the optical point of view and provides synthetic exposures simulating detector readouts from data-cubes containing astrophysical scenes. The Data Reduction Software converts raw-data frames into a fully calibrated, scientifically usable data cube. We present the functionalities and the preliminary design of this software, describe some of the methods and algorithms used and highlight the challenges that we will have to face.
HARMONI is the E-ELT’s first light visible and near-infrared integral field spectrograph. It will provide four different spatial scales, ranging from coarse spaxels of 60 × 30 mas best suited for seeing limited observations, to 4 mas spaxels that Nyquist sample the diffraction limited point spread function of the E-ELT at near-infrared wavelengths. Each spaxel scale may be combined with eleven spectral settings, that provide a range of spectral resolving powers (R ~3500, 7500 and 20000) and instantaneous wavelength coverage spanning the 0.5 – 2.4 μm wavelength range of the instrument. In autumn 2015, the HARMONI project started the Preliminary Design Phase, following signature of the contract to design, build, test and commission the instrument, signed between the European Southern Observatory and the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council. Crucially, the contract also includes the preliminary design of the HARMONI Laser Tomographic Adaptive Optics system. The instrument’s technical specifications were finalized in the period leading up to contract signature. In this paper, we report on the first activity carried out during preliminary design, defining the baseline architecture for the system, and the trade-off studies leading up to the choice of baseline.
Adaptive optics is essential for the successful operation of the future Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs). At the heart of these AO system lies the real-time control which has become computationally challenging. A majority of the previous efforts has been aimed at reducing the wavefront reconstruction latency by using many-core hardware accelerators such as Xeon Phis and GPUs. These modern hardware solutions offer a large numbers of cores combined with high memory bandwidths but have restrictive input/output (I/O). The lack of efficient I/O capability makes the data handling very inefficient and adds both to the overall latency and jitter. For example a single wavefront sensor for an ELT scale adaptive optics system can produce hundreds of millions of pixels per second that need to be processed. Passing all this data through a CPU and into GPUs or Xeon Phis, even by reducing memory copies by using systems such as GPUDirect, is highly inefficient.
The Mellanox TILE series is a novel technology offering a high number of cores and multiple 10 Gbps Ethernet ports. We present results of the TILE-Gx36 as a front-end wavefront sensor processing unit. In doing so we are able to greatly reduce the amount of data needed to be transferred to the wavefront reconstruction hardware. We show that the performance of the Mellanox TILE-GX36 is in-line with typical requirements, in terms of mean calculation time and acceptable jitter, for E-ELT first-light instruments and that the Mellanox TILE series is a serious contender for all E-ELT instruments.
HARMONI is a visible and near-infrared integral field spectrograph designed to be a first-light instrument on the European extremely large telescope. It will use both single-conjugate and laser tomographic adaptive optics to fully exploit high-performance and sky coverage. Using a fast AO modelling toolbox, we simulate anisoplanatism effects on the point spread function of the single-conjugate adaptive optics of HARMONI. We investigate the degradation of the correction performance with respect to the off-axis distance in terms of Strehl ratio and ensquared energy. In addition, we analyse what impact the natural guide source magnitude, AO sampling frequency and number of sub-apertures have on performance.
We show, in addition to the expected PSF degradation with the field direction, that the PSF retains a coherent core even at large off-axis distances. We demonstrated the large performance improvement of fine tuning the sampling frequency for dimer natural guide stars and an improvement of approx. 50% in SR can be reached above the nominal case. We show that using a smaller AO system with only 20x20 sub-apertures it is possible to further increase performance and maintain equivalent performance even for large off-axis angles.
HARMONI is a visible and NIR integral field spectrograph, providing the E-ELT’s core spectroscopic capability at first light. HARMONI will work at the diffraction limit of the E-ELT, thanks to a Classical and a Laser Tomographic AO system. In this paper, we present the system choices that have been made for these SCAO and LTAO modules. In particular, we describe the strategy developed for the different Wave-Front Sensors: pyramid for SCAO, the LGSWFS concept, the NGSWFS path, and the truth sensor capabilities. We present first potential implementations. And we asses the first system performance.
We present wavefront reconstruction acceleration of high-order AO systems using an Intel Xeon Phi processor. The Xeon Phi is a coprocessor providing many integrated cores and designed for accelerating compute intensive, numerical codes. Unlike other accelerator technologies, it allows virtually unchanged C/C++ to be recompiled to run on the Xeon Phi, giving the potential of making development, upgrade and maintenance faster and less complex. We benchmark the Xeon Phi in the context of AO real-time control by running a matrix vector multiply (MVM) algorithm. We investigate variability in execution time and demonstrate a substantial speed-up in loop frequency. We examine the integration of a Xeon Phi into an existing RTC system and show that performance improvements can be achieved with limited development effort.
Piezoceramic actuators are of increasing interest within the field of adaptive optics through their ability for macro and
nano positioning. However, a major drawback for their use is the inherent, non linear hysteresis that is present, which
will reduce the accuracy in positioning. Typical (raw) hysteresis for multilayered piezoceramic actuators is 20% of full
extension. Methods have been researched to overcome the hysteresis but they often involve complex additions to the
actuators and its positioning system. This paper discusses two methods to overcome the hysteresis in a simpler approach.
The first method is using capacitance measurements which correlate with the extension of the actuators and reduces
hysteresis to 5%. The second method involves measuring the frequency at a specific impedance phase, which can reduce
hysteresis to between 0 - 2%. Both methods provide reduction in hysteresis during extension sensing.