The Wavefront Correction (WFC) system for the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) is in its final stages of laboratory integration. All optical, mechanical, and software components have been unit tested and installed and aligned in our laboratory testbed in Boulder, CO. We will verify all aspects of WFC system performance in the laboratory before disassembling and shipping it to Maui for final integration with the DKIST in early 2019. The DKIST Adaptive Optics (AO) system contains a 1600-actuator deformable mirror, a correlating Shack- Hartmann wavefront sensor, a fast tip-tilt mirror, and an FPGA-based control system. Running at a nominal rate of 1975 Hz, the AO system will deliver diffraction-limited images to five of the DKIST science instruments simultaneously. The DKIST AO system is designed to achieve the diffraction limit (on-axis Strehl > 0.3) at wavelengths up to 500 nm in median daytime seeing (r0 = 7 cm). In addition to AO for diffraction-limited observing, the DKIST WFC system has a low-order wavefront sensor for sensing quasi-static wavefront errors, a context viewer for telescope pointing and image quality assessment, and an active optics engine. The active optics engine uses inputs from the low-order wavefront sensor and the AO system to actively correct for telescope misalignment. All routine alignment and calibration procedures are automated via motorized stages that can be controlled from Python scripts. We present the current state of the WFC system as we prepare for final integration with the DKIST, including verification test design, system performance metrics, and laboratory test data.
The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) is a 4-meter aperture, off-axis, Gregorian configuration, solar telescope currently under construction on the top of Haleakela on the island of Maui, Hawaii1. When completed, DKIST will be the world’s largest solar telescope.
The optical performance of the telescope will depend on the accurate alignment of its mirrors. During Integration Testing and Commissioning (IT&C), mirrors will be installed and aligned sequentially. The alignment will be verified by measuring the wavefront progressively at different focus locations using starlight at night with a custom-designed wavefront measurement system (WMS) that consists of a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor. In this paper, we will present the optical design of the WMS. We will discuss the testing and calibration process of the as-built WMS in the lab and demonstrate the final in-lab performance.
Construction of the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) is well underway on the Haleakalā summit on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Featuring a 4-m aperture and an off-axis Gregorian configuration, the DKIST will be the world’s largest solar telescope. It is designed to make high-precision measurements of fundamental astrophysical processes and produce large amounts of spectropolarimetric and imaging data. These data will support research on solar magnetism and its influence on solar wind, flares, coronal mass ejections, and solar irradiance variability. Because of its large aperture, the DKIST will be able to sense the corona’s magnetic field—a goal that has previously eluded scientists—enabling observations that will provide answers about the heating of stellar coronae and the origins of space weather and exo-weather. The telescope will cover a broad wavelength range (0.35 to 28 microns) and operate as a coronagraph at infrared (IR) wavelengths. Achieving the diffraction limit of the 4-m aperture, even at visible wavelengths, is paramount to these science goals. The DKIST’s state-of-the-art adaptive optics systems will provide diffraction-limited imaging, resolving features that are approximately 20 km in size on the Sun.
At the start of operations, five instruments will be deployed: a visible broadband imager (VTF), a visible spectropolarimeter (ViSP), a visible tunable filter (VTF), a diffraction-limited near-IR spectropolarimeter (DLNIRSP), and a cryogenic near-IR spectropolarimeter (cryo-NIRSP). At the end of 2017, the project finished its fifth year of construction and eighth year overall. Major milestones included delivery of the commissioning blank, the completed primary mirror (M1), and its cell. Commissioning and testing of the coudé rotator is complete and the installation of the coudé cleanroom is underway; likewise, commissioning of the telescope mount assembly (TMA) has also begun. Various other systems and equipment are also being installed and tested. Finally, the observatory integration, testing, and commissioning (IT&C) activities have begun, including the first coating of the M1 commissioning blank and its integration within its cell assembly. Science mirror coating and initial on-sky activities are both anticipated in 2018.
The DARWIN mission is a project of the European Space Agency that should allow around 2012 the search for extrasolar planets and a spectral analysis of their potential atmosphere in order to evidence gases and particularly tracers of life.
The principle of the instrument is based on the Bracewell nulling interferometer. It allows high angular resolution and high dynamic range. However, this concept, proposed more than 20 years ago, has never been experimentally demonstrated in the thermal infrared with high levels of extinction. We present here a laboratory monochromatic experiment dedicated to this goal.
A theoretical and numerical approach of the question highlights a strong difficulty: the need for very clean and homogeneous wavefronts, in terms of intensity, phase and polarisation distribution. A classical interferometric approach appears to be insufficient to reach our goals. We have shown theoretically then numerically that this difficulty can be surpassed if we perform an optical filtering of the interfering beams. This technique allows us to decrease strongly the optical requirements and to view very high interferometric contrast measurements with commercial optical pieces.
We present here a laboratory interferometer working at 10,6 microns, and implementing several techniques of optical filtering (pinholes and single-mode waveguides), its realisation, and its first promising results. We particularly present measurements that exhibit stable visibility levels better than 99,9% that is to say extinction levels better than 1000.
The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) has been in its construction phase since 2010, anticipating the onset of the integration, test, and commissioning (IT&C) phase in early 2017, and the commencement of science verification in 2019. The works on Haleakala are progressing at a phenomenal rate and many of the various subsystems are either through or about to enter their Factory (or Laboratory) acceptance. The delays in obtaining site planning permissions, while a serious issue for Project Management, has allowed the sub-systems to develop well ahead of their required delivery to site. We have benefited from the knowledge that many sub-systems will be on site and ready for integration well before affecting the critical path. Opportunities have been presented for additional laboratory/factory testing which, while not free, significantly reduce the risks of potential delays and rework on site. From the perspective of IT&C this has provided an opportunity to develop the IT&C plans and schedules free from the pressures of imminent deployment.
In this paper we describe the ongoing planning of the Integration, Testing and Commissioning (IT&C) phase of the project in particular the detailed planning phase that we are currently developing.
The Visible Broadband Imager (VBI) Blue and Red channels are the first Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) instruments that have been aligned and tested in a laboratory. This paper describes the optical alignment method of the VBI as performed in the laboratory. The objective of this preliminary alignment is to test and validate the optical alignment method that will be used during final alignment on the telescope, to measure the VBI performances and to verify that it meets specification. The optical alignment method is defined by three major steps. The first step is realized by combining the optical and mechanical models into the Spatial Analyzer (SA) software, and extracting the data serving as target values during alignment. The second step is the mechanical alignment and allows to accurately position the optics in the instrument coordinate system by using a Coordinate Measurement Machine (CMM) arm and a theodolite. This step has led to a great initial positioning and has allowed reaching an initial wavefront error before optical alignment close to the specification. The last step, performed by interferometry, allows fine alignment to compensate the residual aberrations created by misalignment and manufacturing tolerances. This paper presents also an alignment method to compute the shifts and tilts of compensating lenses to correct the residual aberrations. This paper describes first results of the VBI instruments performances measured in the laboratory and confirm the validity of the alignment process that will be reproduced during final alignment on the telescope.
The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) is a 4-meter solar telescope under construction at Haleakala, Hawaii. The challenge of the DKIST optical alignment is the off-axis Gregorian configuration based on an Altitude-Azimuth mount, the independently-rotating Coudé platform and the large number of relay mirrors. This paper describes the optical alignment plan of the complete telescope, including the primary 4.24-m diameter off-axis secondary mirror, the secondary 620 mm diameter off-axis mirror, the transfer optics and the Coudé optics feeding the wavefront correction system and the science instruments. A number of accurate metrology instruments will be used to align the telescope and to reach the performances, including a laser tracker for initial positioning, a theodolite for accurate tilt alignment, a Coordinate Measurement Machine (CMM) arm for local alignment in the Coudé laboratory, and a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor to characterize the aberrations by measuring selected target stars. The wavefront will be characterized at the primary focus, the Gregorian focus, the intermediate focus and at the telescope focal plane. The laser tracker will serve also to measure the mirrors positions as function of Altitude angle due to the Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA) structure deflection. This paper describes also the method that will be used to compute the compensating mirrors shift and tilt needed to correct the residual aberrations and position of the focal plane.
When the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) achieves first light in 2019, it will deliver the highest spatial resolution images of the solar atmosphere ever recorded. Additionally, the DKIST will observe the Sun with unprecedented polarimetric sensitivity and spectral resolution, spurring a leap forward in our understanding of the physical processes occurring on the Sun.
The DKIST wavefront correction system will provide active alignment control and jitter compensation for all six of the DKIST science instruments. Five of the instruments will also be fed by a conventional adaptive optics (AO) system, which corrects for high frequency jitter and atmospheric wavefront disturbances. The AO system is built around an extended-source correlating Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor, a Physik Instrumente fast tip-tilt mirror (FTTM) and a Xinetics 1600-actuator deformable mirror (DM), which are controlled by an FPGA-based real-time system running at 1975 Hz. It is designed to achieve on-axis Strehl of 0.3 at 500 nm in median seeing (r0 = 7 cm) and Strehl of 0.6 at 630 nm in excellent seeing (r0 = 20 cm).
The DKIST wavefront correction team has completed the design phase and is well into the fabrication phase. The FTTM and DM have both been delivered to the DKIST laboratory in Boulder, CO. The real-time controller has been completed and is able to read out the camera and deliver commands to the DM with a total latency of approximately 750 μs. All optics and optomechanics, including many high-precision custom optics, mounts, and stages, are completed or nearing the end of the fabrication process and will soon undergo rigorous acceptance testing.
Before installing the wavefront correction system at the telescope, it will be assembled as a testbed in the laboratory. In the lab, performance tests beginning with component-level testing and continuing to full system testing will ensure that the wavefront correction system meets all performance requirements. Further work in the lab will focus on fine-tuning our alignment and calibration procedures so that installation and alignment on the summit will proceed as efficiently as possible.
The DKIST wavefront correction system will be an integral part of the telescope, providing active alignment control, wavefront correction, and jitter compensation to all DKIST instruments. The wavefront correction system will operate in four observing modes, diffraction-limited, seeing-limited on-disk, seeing-limited coronal, and limb occulting with image stabilization. Wavefront correction for DKIST includes two major components: active optics to correct low-order wavefront and alignment errors, and adaptive optics to correct wavefront errors and high-frequency jitter caused by atmospheric turbulence. The adaptive optics system is built around a fast tip-tilt mirror and a 1600 actuator deformable mirror, both of which are controlled by an FPGA-based real-time system running at 2 kHz. It is designed to achieve on-axis Strehl of 0.3 at 500 nm in median seeing (r0 = 7 cm) and Strehl of 0.6 at 630 nm in excellent seeing (r0 = 20 cm). We present the current status of the DKIST high-order adaptive optics, focusing on system design, hardware procurements, and error budget management.
The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST), formerly the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST), has
been in its construction phase since 2010, anticipating the onset of the integration, test, and commissioning (IT&C)
phase late in 2016, and the commencement of science verification in early 2019. In this paper we describe the
planning of the Integration, Testing and Commissioning (IT&C) phase of the project.
Several concept of space missions dedicated to the direct detection and analysis of extrasolar planets are based on nulling interferometry principle. This principle, which is theoretically very promising requires the capability of propagating and combining beams with very high accuracy in term of amplitude phase and polarization. In order to validate the principle of nulling interferometry, it is necessary to develop laboratory techniques of recombination. In this paper, we present a new test bench that should allow measuring rejection rate up to 105 in a large spectral band between 2 and 4 microns.
Present projects of space interferometers dedicated to the detection and analysis of extrasolar planets (DARWIN in Europe, TPF in the United States) are based on the nulling interferometry concept. This concept has been proposed by Bracewell in 1978 but has never been demonstrated with high values of rejection, in the thermal infrared range, where the planet detection should be performed (6 - 18 micrometers ). We have thus built a two-beam laboratory interferometer to validate this concept in a monochromatic case (at 10 micrometers ). The keypoint of our interferometer is the use of optical filtering by pinhole and optical fibers to clean the interfering beams. We present in this paper the principle of the experimental setup, its realization, and the first measurements of rejection it allowed. We also present the future developments of this interferometer.