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Proceedings Paper

Enabling technologies for visible adaptive optics: the Magellan adaptive secondary VisAO camera
Author(s): Derek Kopon; Jared Males; Laird M. Close; Victor Gasho
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Paper Abstract

Since its beginnings, diffraction-limited ground-based adaptive optics (AO) imaging has been limited to wavelengths in the near IR (λ>1μm) and longer. Visible AO (λ>1μm) has proven to be difficult because shorter wavelengths require wavefront correction on very short spatial and temporal scales. The pupil must be sampled very finely, which requires dense actuator spacing and fine wavefront sampling with large dynamic range. In addition, atmospheric dispersion is much more significant in the visible than in the near-IR. Imaging over a broad visible band requires a very good Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector (ADC). Even with these technologies, our AO simulations using the CAOS code, combined with the optical and site parameters for the 6.5m Magellan telescope, demonstrate a large temporal variability of visible (λ=0.7μm) Strehl on timescales of 50 ms. Over several hundred milliseconds, the visible Strehl can be as high at 50% and as low as 10%. Taking advantage of periods of high Strehl requires either the ability to read out the CCD very fast, thereby introducing significant amounts of read-noise, or the use of a fast asynchronous shutter that can block the low-Strehl light. Our Magellan VisAO camera will use an advanced ADC, a high-speed shutter, and our 585 actuator adaptive secondary to achieve broadband (0.5-1.0 μm) diffraction limited images on the 6.5m Magellan Clay telescope in Chile at Las Campanas Observatory. These will be the sharpest and deepest visible direct images taken to date with a resolution of 17 mas, a factor of 2.7 better than the diffraction limit of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 September 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7439, Astronomical and Space Optical Systems, 74390Y (17 September 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.834688
Show Author Affiliations
Derek Kopon, Ctr. for Astronomical Adaptive Optics, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Jared Males, Ctr. for Astronomical Adaptive Optics, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Laird M. Close, Ctr. for Astronomical Adaptive Optics, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Victor Gasho, Ctr. for Astronomical Adaptive Optics, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7439:
Astronomical and Space Optical Systems
Penny G. Warren; James B. Heaney; Robert K. Tyson; Michael Hart; E. Todd Kvamme; Cheryl J. Marshall, Editor(s)

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