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Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems

Daylight operation of a sodium laser guide star for adaptive optics wavefront sensing
Author(s): Michael Hart; Stuart M. Jefferies; Neil Murphy
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Paper Abstract

We report contrast measurements of a sodium resonance guide star against the daylight sky when observed through a tuned magneto-optical filter (MOF). The guide star was created by projection of a laser beam at 589.16 nm into the mesospheric sodium layer and the observations were made with a collocated 1.5-m telescope. While MOFs are used with sodium light detecting and ranging systems during the day to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of the measurements, they have not so far been employed with laser guide stars to drive adaptive optics (AO) systems to correct atmospherically induced image blur. We interpret our results in terms of the performance of AO systems for astronomy, with particular emphasis on thermal infrared observations at the next generation of extremely large telescopes now being built.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 October 2016
PDF: 4 pages
J. Ast. Inst. Sys. 2(4) 040501 doi: 10.1117/1.JATIS.2.4.040501
Published in: Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems Volume 2, Issue 4
Show Author Affiliations
Michael Hart, College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Univ. of Hawai’i (United States)
Stuart M. Jefferies, Institute for Astronomy (United States)
Georgia State Univ. (United States)
Neil Murphy, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


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