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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Science operation of the SOAR Adaptive Module (SAM)

  • Author(s): Tokovinin, Andrey
  • et al.

The adaptive module of the 4-m SOAR telescope (SAM) corrects ground-layer turbulence using a UV laser guide star. It has been commissioned in 2013 and in regular science operation since 2014A. SAM works with the CCD imager covering a 3′ field or with the speckle camera. The instrument operates routinely and stably, delivering in the I band the image quality equal to the free-atmosphere seeing. Preparation of the observing runs and the operational sequence are covered briefly. Observing programs executed so far are presented, ranging from star clusters and binary stars to deep-space objects and gravitational lenses. Emission-line objects were observed with narrow-band filters and Fabry-Perot etalon. Future science use of SAM and its synergy with wide-field optical sky surveys are outlined. New instruments for SAM and its potential upgrades are considered.

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