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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Aligning the LINC-NIRVANA Natural Guide Stars MCAO system

  • Author(s): Marafatto, Luca
  • Baumeister, Harald
  • Bertram, Thomas
  • Berwein, Jurgen
  • Briegel, Florian
  • Bizenberger, Peter
  • Herbst, Tom
  • Hofferbert, Ralph
  • Moreno-Ventas, Javier
  • Kittmann, Frank
  • Kuerster, Martin
  • Bergomi, Maria
  • Dima, Marco
  • Farinato, Jacopo
  • Ragazzoni, Roberto
  • Viotto, Valentina
  • et al.

LINC-NIRVANA (LN) is an instrument built to be a Fizeau interferometric imager for the Large Binocular Telescope that will achieve ELT-like spatial resolution. Of course achieving this outstanding resolution requires a very complex instrument, assuring the delivery of plane wavefronts, parallel input beams, homoteticity and zero Optical Path Difference. LN will be one of the most complex ground-based instruments ever built, consisting of a Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO) system, a fringe tracker, a beam combiner and a Near-InfraRed science camera, for a total of more than 250 indivudual lenses and mirrors.The MCAO sub-unit itself is the state of the art in the sector of wide field adaptive optics. It consists of 4 Wavefront Sensors (WFSs), two for each arm of the telescope, to sense the turbulence at the ground layer and at 7.1 km above the telescope. They operate in a layer oriented, Multiple Field of View mode, using up to 12 Natural Guide Stars (NGSs) for the ground layer correction and up to 8 NGSs for the mid layer correction.The ambitious nature of LN, which compels us to meet very tight requirements, together with the high number of subsystems lead to a challenging alignment procedure of the instrument. Despite of the complexity, the Alignment, Integration and Verification phase of the instrument has been recently completed with success in Heidelberg and LN is currently on its way to the LBT, where it will be re-aligned and finally mounted at one of the bend focal stations of the telescope. In this paper the integration and alignment procedure of the MCAO subsystem to the rest of LN is described and results are presented.

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