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Proceedings Paper

Operation of Laser Guide Star Facility at La Silla Paranal Observatory
Author(s): J. L. Alvarez; E. Bendek; J. Beltran; F. Gutierrez; I. Munoz; G. Valdes; N. Kornewibel
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Paper Abstract

The Laser Guide Star Facility (LGSF) is installed on the UT4 (Yepun) telescope at Paranal Observatory in Chile. On the same telescope, two instruments are equipped with adaptive optics: an infrared spectro imager (CONICA) below the adaptive optics module NAOS; and an integral field spectrograph (SINFONI). The LGSF is tuned to the sodium D2 line to generate an artificial reference star, for both CONICA and SINFONI. Although the LGSF is a complex laser system, rather different from the other instruments at Paranal, it has been designed to run remotely without any hand-on tuning for a period of one week. The LGSF system has now been in operation for several months, in conjunction with the Aircraft camera Avoidance System (AAS). In this article, we report on the technical performance achieved by the LGSF in operational conditions. We also provide a summary of the technical problems and operational constraints we have faced so far. We present the current operations and maintenance procedures implemented at Paranal. We also present the evolution of the human resources needed to operate and maintain the LGSF operational from commissioning to routine operations. Finally, we discuss possible improvements to reduce the workload to maintain and operate the LGSF.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 July 2008
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7015, Adaptive Optics Systems, 70152O (10 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.788454
Show Author Affiliations
J. L. Alvarez, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
E. Bendek, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
J. Beltran, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
F. Gutierrez, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
I. Munoz, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
G. Valdes, European Southern Observatory (Chile)
N. Kornewibel, European Southern Observatory (Chile)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7015:
Adaptive Optics Systems
Norbert Hubin; Claire E. Max; Peter L. Wizinowich, Editor(s)

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