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Proceedings Paper

Field evaluation of two new continuous-wave dye laser systems optimized for sodium beacon excitation
Author(s): Bruce P. Jacobsen; Ty Martinez; James Roger P. Angel; Michael Lloyd-Hart; Steve M. Benda; Dave Middleton; Herbert W. Friedman; Gaylen V. Erbert
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Paper Abstract

Adaptive correction of infrared images formed by large telescopes will be possible with the aid of a single laser guide star projected along the telescope axis. The fundamental limit set by focus anisoplanatism of a sodium beacon allows correction to the diffraction limit in the 1.65 and 2.2 micron bands under typical conditions at a good site. A 1 arcsec `star' of V magnitude approximately equals 9 is then required to reduce photon noise to negligible level. In this paper we report on recent tests of continuous wave dye lasers at wavelength 589 nm, used to create sodium beacons above the Multiple Mirror Telescope. A coherent ring dye laser operating at 2.5 W average power and projected as circularly polarized light yielded a beacon of mv equals 9.85, and a Livermore-designed standing wave laser operating at 1.7 W and projected as linearly polarized light yielded mv equals 10.4. Beacon sizes close to 1 arcsec were achieved. The 9th magnitude goal should be achieved by using more advanced cw dye lasers with 20% conversion efficiency of a 25 W argon ion pump laser, and from improvements in beam projection efficiency. We describe a refractive beam expander under construction for the 6.5 m conversion of the MMT.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 May 1994
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2201, Adaptive Optics in Astronomy, (31 May 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.176068
Show Author Affiliations
Bruce P. Jacobsen, Univ. of Arizona Steward Observatory (United States)
Ty Martinez, Univ. of Arizona Steward Observatory (United States)
James Roger P. Angel, Univ. of Arizona Steward Observatory (United States)
Michael Lloyd-Hart, Univ. of Arizona Steward Observatory (United States)
Steve M. Benda, Coherent Laser Group (United States)
Dave Middleton, Coherent Laser Group (United States)
Herbert W. Friedman, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Gaylen V. Erbert, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)

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

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