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Performance modeling of a wide-field ground-layer adaptive optics system

Andersen, David R. and Stoesz, Jeff and Morris, Simon and Lloyd-Hart, Michael and Crampton, David and Butterley, Tim and Ellerbroek, Brent and Jolissaint, Laurent and Milton, N. Mark and Myers, Richard and Szeto, Kei and Tokovinin, Andrei and Véran, Jean-Pierre and Wilson, Richard (2006) Performance modeling of a wide-field ground-layer adaptive optics system. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 118 (849). pp. 1574-1590. ISSN 0004-6280.

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Using five independent analytic and Monte Carlo simulation codes, we have studied the performance of wide-field ground-layer adaptive optics (GLAO), which can use a single, relatively low order deformable mirror to correct the wave-front errors from the lowest altitude turbulence. GLAO concentrates more light from a point source in a smaller area on the science detector, but unlike with traditional adaptive optics, images do not become diffraction-limited. Rather, the GLAO point-spread function (PSF) has the same functional form as a seeing-limited PSF and can be characterized by familiar performance metrics such as full width at half-maximum (FWHM). The FWHM of a GLAO PSF is reduced by 01 or more for optical and near-infrared wavelengths over different atmospheric conditions. For the Cerro Pachón atmospheric model, this correction is even greater when the image quality is poorest, which effectively eliminates "bad seeing" nights; the best seeing-limited image quality, available only 20% of the time, can be achieved 60%–80% of the time with GLAO. This concentration of energy in the PSF will reduce required exposure times and improve the efficiency of an observatory up to 30%–40%. These performance gains are relatively insensitive to a number of trade-offs, including the exact field of view of a wide-field GLAO system, the conjugate altitude and actuator density of the deformable mirror, and the number and configuration of the guide stars.

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Additional Information:© 2006 The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Received 2006 April 20; accepted 2006 September 14; published 2006 November 29. The authors wish to thank S. Shectman for his useful comments, and Gemini Observatory and its staff for their contributions.
Issue or Number:849
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:ANDpasp06
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7503
Deposited By: Lindsay Cleary
Deposited On:28 Feb 2007
Last Modified:02 Oct 2019 23:42

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