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Published February 7, 2003 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

MCAO for Gemini South


The multi-conjugate adaptive optics (MCAO) system design for the Gemini-South 8-meter telescope will provide near-diffraction-limited, highly uniform atmospheric turbulence compensation at near-infrared wavelengths over a 2 arc minute diameter field-of-view. The design includes three deformable mirrors optically conjugate to ranges of 0, 4.5, and 9.0 kilometers with 349, 468, and 208 actuators, five 10-Watt-class sodium laser guide stars (LGSs) projected from a laser launch telescope located behind the Gemini secondary mirror, five Shack-Hartmann LGS wavefront sensors of order 16 by 16, and three tip/tilt natural guide star (NGS) wavefront sensors to measure tip/tilt and tilt anisoplanatism wavefront errors. The WFS sampling rate is 800 Hz. This paper provides a brief overview of sample science applications and performance estimates for the Gemini South MCAO system, together with a summary of the performance requirements and/or design status of the principal subsystems. These include the adaptive optics module (AOM), the laser system (LS), the beam transfer optics (BTO) and laser launch telescope (LLT), the real time control (RTC) system, and the aircraft safety system (SALSA).

Additional Information

© 2003 Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). This work was supported by the Gemini Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini Partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (United Kingdom), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), CNPq (Brazil), and CONICET (Argentina).

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August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023