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Proceedings Paper

Final review of adaptive optics results from the preconversion MMT
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Paper Abstract

The FASTTRAC II adaptive optics instrument has been used at the Multiple Mirror Telescope (MMT) for the past 2 years to provide improved image resolution in the near infrared. Results have been obtained using both natural guide stars and an artificial sodium laser beacon. With the imminent closure of the MMT prior to its conversion to a single-mirror 6.5 m telescope, FASTTRAC II has come to the end of its life. The instrument has been to the telescope for a total of 8 runs, and during that time it has been of enormous value both as a learning aid, demonstrating the requirements of its successor on the 6.5 m, and as a scientific tool. At this meeting, we present a selection of astrophysical data derived from FASTTRAC II, including the first closed-loop demonstration of an adaptive optics system using a sodium laser beacon. The sodium laser has been used to obtain near diffraction-limited near-infrared images of the core of M13, allowing the construction of a color-magnitude diagram to below the main sequence turnoff. Results have also been obtained from several gravitationally lensed quasars, and the cores of nearby galaxies in the local group. We also summarize work characterizing atmospheric conditions at the site. These studies have proceeded in two areas - understanding the behavior of the phase perturbation with field angle and time, and characterizing the return from the sodium resonance beacon.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 October 1997
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3126, Adaptive Optics and Applications, (17 October 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.290164
Show Author Affiliations
Michael Lloyd-Hart, Univ. of Arizona Steward Observatory (United States)
James Roger P. Angel, Univ. of Arizona Steward Observatory (United States)
Todd D. Groesbeck, Univ. of Arizona Steward Observatory (United States)
Patrick C. McGuire, Univ. of Arizona Steward Observatory (United States)
David G. Sandler, ThermoTrex Corp. (United States)
Donald W. McCarthy, Univ. of Arizona Steward Observatory (United States)
Ty Martinez, Univ. of Arizona Steward Observatory (United States)
Bruce P. Jacobsen, Univ. of Arizona Steward Observatory (United States)
Tom Roberts, Univ. of Arizona Steward Observatory (United States)
Philip M. Hinz, Univ. of Arizona Steward Observatory (United States)
Jian Ge, Univ. of Arizona Steward Observatory (United States)
Brian A. McLeod, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Guido Brusa, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri (United States)
E. Keith Hege, Univ. of Arizona Steward Observatory (United States)
Eric A. Hooper, Univ. of Arizona Steward Observatory (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3126:
Adaptive Optics and Applications
Robert K. Tyson; Robert Q. Fugate, Editor(s)

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