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Proceedings Paper

The ESO transportable LGS Unit for measurements of the LGS photon return and other experiments
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Paper Abstract

Sodium laser guide stars (LGS) are used, or planned to be used, as single or multiple artificial beacons for Adaptive Optics in many present or future large and extremely large telescopes projects. In our opinion, several aspects of the LGS have not been studied systematically and thoroughly enough in the past to ensure optimal system designs. ESO has designed and built, with support from industry, an experimental transportable laser guide star unit, composed of a compact laser based on the ESO narrow-band Raman Fiber Amplifier patented technology, attached to a 30cm launch telescope. Besides field tests of the new laser technology, the purpose of the transportable unit is to conduct field experiments related to LGS and LGS-AO, useful for the optimization of future LGS-AO systems. Among the proposed ones are the validation of ESO LGS return flux simulations as a function of CW and pulsed laser properties, the feasibility of line-of-sight sodium profile measurements via partial CW laser modulation and tests of AO operation with elongated LGS in the EELT geometry configuration. After a description of the WLGSU and its main capabilities, results on the WLGSU commissioning and LGS return flux measurements are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 September 2012
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8450, Modern Technologies in Space- and Ground-based Telescopes and Instrumentation II, 84501R (13 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926898
Show Author Affiliations
D. Bonaccini Calia, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
I. Guidolin, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
A. Friedenauer, TOPTICA Photonics AG (Germany)
M. Hager, TOPTICA Photonics AG (Germany)
V. Karpov, MPB Communications Inc. (Canada)
T. Pfrommer, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
R. Holzlöhner, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
S. Lewis, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
W. Hackenberg, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
G. Lombardi, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
M. Centrone, INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma (Italy)
F. Pedichini, INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma (Italy)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8450:
Modern Technologies in Space- and Ground-based Telescopes and Instrumentation II
Ramón Navarro; Colin R. Cunningham; Eric Prieto, Editor(s)

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