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Proceedings Paper

Rayleigh laser guide stars for extremely large telescopes
Author(s): Laird A. Thompson
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Paper Abstract

Rayleigh laser guide star technology is discussed here with particular attention paid to the effects of laser pulse length, a parameter that becomes more significant to the design when telescope apertures are greater than 10 meters. After reviewing the relative return signal for Rayleigh versus sodium laser guide stars, a brief review of the pulse length characteristics of sodium lasers is given. Only one of the proposed sodium laser systems is pulsed while the others are CW. To insure star-like sources at the wavefront sensor with FWHM < 1.0 arcsec, lasers that will be most useful for Extremely Large Telescopes must have a short pulse format whereas CW lasers will be of little to no use. A relatively simple Rayleigh laser guide star method is described for Ground Layer Adaptive Optics (GLAO). This method provides a way to average out the effects of high altitude turbulence with a single Rayleigh laser guide star leaves intact the wavefront sign needed to correct ground-layer wavefront perturbations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 February 2003
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4839, Adaptive Optical System Technologies II, (7 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.459066
Show Author Affiliations
Laird A. Thompson, Univ. of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4839:
Adaptive Optical System Technologies II
Peter L. Wizinowich; Domenico Bonaccini, Editor(s)

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