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Proceedings Paper

Testing the pyramid wavefront sensor on the sky
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Paper Abstract

The pyramid wavefront sensor is a novel concept device whose features are attractive for adaptive optics for several reasons. We show here the first loop closure of an AO system using this kind of sensor at the focal plane of a 4m-class telescope. One of the critical optical elements of our wavefront sensor is the pyramid that splits the light from the star used for the wavefront correction. This component is essentially a four faces prism having actually a full vertex angle of 7 degrees with specifications on its edges and roof of 4 - 5 microns or better. The best turned edges obtained on the prototypes already built have shown values of the order of 6 microns, with roofs of the same order, not far from the required tolerances. In this article we describe the techniques and the system used for the construction of this optical component and the improvements to the polishing procedure that we plan to adopt in order to increase the quality of its edges and optical surfaces. Pixel processing is suitable to fit with existing Shack-Hartmann systems, making this device an attractive add-on option for existing SH-based AO systems. The plans for future developments in order to firmly establish the performances of the pyramid wavefront sensor are briefed out.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 July 2000
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4007, Adaptive Optical Systems Technology, (7 July 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.390351
Show Author Affiliations
Roberto Ragazzoni, Astronomical Observatory of Padova (Italy)
Adriano Ghedina, Ctr. Galileo Galilei (Spain)
Andrea Baruffolo, Astronomical Observatory of Padova (Italy)
Enrico Marchetti, Ctr. Galileo Galilei (Spain) and European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Jacopo Farinato, European Southern Observatory (Italy)
Tiziano Niero, Stazione Astronomica di Carloforte (Italy)
Giuseppe Crimi, Astronomical Observatory of Merate (Italy)
Mauro Ghigo, Astronomical Observatory of Merate (Italy)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4007:
Adaptive Optical Systems Technology
Peter L. Wizinowich, Editor(s)

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