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Paper Abstract

The CHARA Array is a six telescope optical/IR interferometer run by the Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy of Georgia State University and is located at Mount Wilson Observatory just to the north of Los Angeles California. The CHARA Array has the largest operational baselines in the world and has been in regular use for scientific observations since 2004. In 2011 we received funding from the NSF to begin work on Adaptive Optics for our six telescopes. Phase I of this project, fully funded by the NSF grant, consists of designing and building wavefront sensors for each telescope that will also serve as tip/tilt detectors. Having tip/tilt at the telescopes, instead of in the laboratory, will add several magnitudes of sensitivity to this system. Phase I also includes a slow wavefront sensor in the laboratory to measure non-common path errors and small deformable mirrors in the laboratory to remove static and slowly changing aberrations. Phase II of the project will allow us to place high-speed deformable mirrors at the telescopes thereby enabling full closed loop operation. We are currently seeking funding for Phase II. This paper will describe the scientific rational and design of the system and give the current status of the project.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 September 2012
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8447, Adaptive Optics Systems III, 84473I (13 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.927031
Show Author Affiliations
Theo A. ten Brummelaar, The CHARA Array of Georgia State Univ. (United States)
Laszlo Sturmann, The CHARA Array of Georgia State Univ. (United States)
Judit Sturmann, The CHARA Array of Georgia State Univ. (United States)
Stephen T. Ridgway, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (United States)
John D. Monnier, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Michael J. Ireland, Macquarie Univ. (Australia)
Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Xiao Che, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Harold A. McAlister, CHARA Georgia State Univ. (United States)
Nils H. Turner, CHARA Georgia State Univ. (United States)
P. G. Tuthill, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8447:
Adaptive Optics Systems III
Brent L. Ellerbroek; Enrico Marchetti; Jean-Pierre Véran, Editor(s)

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