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On-sky wide-field adaptive optics correction using multiple laser guide stars at the MMT

Baranec, Christoph and Hart, Michael and Milton, N. Mark and Stalcup, Thomas and Powell, Keith and Snyder, Miguel and Vaitheeswaran, Vidhya and McCarthy, Don and Kulesa, Craig (2009) On-sky wide-field adaptive optics correction using multiple laser guide stars at the MMT. Astrophysical Journal, 693 (2). pp. 1814-1820. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/693/2/1814.

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We describe results from the first astronomical adaptive optics (AO) system to use multiple laser guide stars, located at the 6.5 m MMT telescope in Arizona. Its initial operational mode, ground-layer adaptive optics (GLAO), provides uniform stellar wave front correction within the 2' diameter laser beacon constellation, reducing the stellar image widths by as much as 53%, from 0."70 to 0."33 at λ = 2.14 μm. GLAO is achieved by applying a correction to the telescope's adaptive secondary mirror that is an average of wave front measurements from five laser beacons supplemented with image motion from a faint stellar source. Optimization of the AO system in subsequent commissioning runs will further improve correction performance where it is predicted to deliver 0."1-0."2 resolution in the near-infrared during a majority of seeing conditions.

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Baranec, Christoph0000-0002-1917-9157
Additional Information:© 2009 American Astronomical Society. Print publication: Issue 2 (2009 March 10); received 2008 September 1; accepted for publication 2008 November 28; published 2009 March 10. Observations reported here were made at the MMT, a joint facility of the University of Arizona and the Smithsonian Institution. We are grateful for the continued support of the MMT Observatory staff, particularly M. Alegria, A. Milone, and J. McAfee.We thank T. Pickering for providing the MMT seeing data. This work has been supported by the National Science Foundation under grants AST-0138347 and AST-0505369 and by the University of Arizona Technology and Research Initiative Fund.
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University of Arizona Technology and Research Initiative FundUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:atmospheric effects; instrumentation: adaptive optics; instrumentation: high angular resolution; telescopes
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090429-104905038
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14109
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:10 Aug 2009 22:56
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:43

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