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Proceedings Paper

ALFA: three years of experience in adaptive optics with a laser guide star
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Paper Abstract

The Max-Planck institutes for astronomy and for extraterrestrial physics run a high order adaptive optics system with a laser guide star facility at the Calar Alto 3.5- m telescope in southern Spain. This system, called ALFA, saw first light in September 1996. Today, ALFA can compensate for atmospheric turbulences with natural guide stars as faint as 13.5th magnitude in R-band. ALFA recently succeeded in overcoming this limiting magnitude with the deployment of its laser guide star. This paper briefly reviews the ALFA project and its progress over the last 3 years. We further discuss the impact of sodium-layer laser guide stars on wavefront sensing and present results obtained with both kinds of guide stars.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 July 2000
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4007, Adaptive Optical Systems Technology, (7 July 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.390397
Show Author Affiliations
Stefan Hippler, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie (Germany)
Markus E. Kasper, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie (Germany)
Markus Feldt, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie (Germany)
Robert Weiss, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie (Germany)
Douglas P. Looze, Univ. of Massachusetts/Amherst (United States)
Luzma Montoya, Ctr. Astronomico Hispano Aleman (Spain)
Jesus Aceituno, Ctr. Astronomico Hispano Aleman (Spain)
Thomas Ott, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Extraterrestriche Physik (Germany)
Richard I. Davies, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Extraterrestriche Physik (Germany)


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

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