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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Retrieving tip-tilt information from Tomographic Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics Systems


Current Laser Guide Star (LGS) Adaptive Optics (AO) systems disregard all tip-tilt wavefront information received from the LGS Wavefront Sensors (WFS), as it is considered irretrievably entangled with the up-link turbulence that the laser encounters as it passes through the atmosphere to form a guide star. Consequently, they must still observe a Natural Guide Star (NGS) in order to correct for tip-tilt aberrations.A method has recently been presented that use the tomographic capabilities of centre-launched, multi-LGS AO systems to predict the LGS uplink turbulence and hence allow correction with a reduced requirement on the NGS, or potentially no NGS requirement at all for some scientific applications. This method is summarised here, and its limitations discussed. Due to the increased separation of the laser beams at higher altitude, the method is more effective for correction of tip-tilt from high altitude turbulence, with performance approaching that of tomographic LGS AO with a tip-tilt NGS. The method is less successful for correcting tip-tilt contributions from low altitudes, though potential mitigation of this is considered.We finally discuss the methods potential for ELT scale operation. Due to the large aperture size, and large LGS separation, it is expected that the method would be more effective for larger telescopes.

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