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Published September 13, 2012 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Robo-AO: autonomous and replicable laser-adaptive-optics and science system


We have created a new autonomous laser-guide-star adaptive-optics (AO) instrument on the 60-inch (1.5-m) telescope at Palomar Observatory called Robo-AO. The instrument enables diffraction-limited resolution observing in the visible and near-infrared with the ability to observe well over one-hundred targets per night due to its fully robotic operation. Robo-AO is being used for AO surveys of targets numbering in the thousands, rapid AO imaging of transient events and long-term AO monitoring not feasible on large diameter telescope systems. We have taken advantage of cost-effective advances in deformable mirror and laser technology while engineering Robo-AO with the intention of cloning the system for other few-meter class telescopes around the world.

Additional Information

© 2012 SPIE. The Robo-AO system is supported by collaborating partner institutions, the California Institute of Technology and the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. AST-0906060 and AST-0960343, by a grant from the Mt.Cuba Astronomical Foundation and by a gift from Samuel Oschin. The infrared camera upgrade is additionally supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AST-1207891 and by the Office of Naval Research under grant N00014-11-1-0903. We are grateful for the continued support of the Palomar Observatory staff for their ongoing support of Robo-AO on the 60-inch telescope, particularly S. Kunsman, M. Doyle, J. Henning, R. Walters, G. Van Idsinga, B. Baker, K. Dunscombe and D. Roderick.

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