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Laser guide star adaptive optics at Lick Observatory

  • Author(s): Gavel, Donald
  • Dillon, Daren
  • Kupke, Renate
  • Rudy, Alex
  • et al.
Abstract

We present an overview of the adaptive optics system at the Shane telescope (ShaneAO) along with research and development efforts on the technology and algorithms for that will advance AO into wider application for astronomy. Diffraction-limited imaging and spectroscopy from ground based large aperture telescopes will open up the opportunity for unprecedented science advancement. The AO challenges we are targeting are correction down to visible science wavelengths, which demands high-order wavefront correction, and dim object viewing over the whole sky, which demands bright artificial laser beacons. We discuss our ongoing development of MEMS based AO correction, woofer-tweeter architecture, wind-predictive wavefront control algorithms and a guide star laser tuned for optical pumping of the sodium layer. We present the latest on-sky results from the new AO system and present status and experimental plans for the optical pumping guide star laser.

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