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Proceedings Paper

Fundamental limitation in adaptive optics: how to eliminate it? A full-aperture tilt measurement technique with a laser guide star
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Paper Abstract

A theory for a new laser guide star technique is developed. This technique, for the first time, permits the sensing of a full-aperture tilt of the atmospheric wave front distortions using a laser guide star, eliminating one of the fundamental limitations of adaptive optics. By using a detailed analysis of the laser guide star image jitter for a conventional scheme and for its possible modifications, it is shown that, because of reciprocity of propagation paths, a conventional laser beacon is unable to sense a full aperture tilt and can be only used to measure the higher-order wavefront distortions. The full aperture tilt can be measured with a divergent beam if its effective size at a laser beacon altitude coincides with the radius of a receiving telescope. Estimates of the modified laser guide star image jitter rms, signal-to-noise ratio, and the mean square deviation between the instantaneous tilts for the modified laser beacon and a natural star are obtained, and it is shown that the proposed technique is practical.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 May 1994
PDF: 3 pages
Proc. SPIE 2201, Adaptive Optics in Astronomy, (31 May 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.176046
Show Author Affiliations
Mikhail S. Belen'kii, Georgia Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2201:
Adaptive Optics in Astronomy
Mark A. Ealey; Fritz Merkle, Editor(s)

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