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Proceedings Paper

Results of adaptive optics at Mt. Wilson Observatory
Author(s): J. C. Shelton; Sallie L. Baliunas
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Paper Abstract

We have mounted an early adaptive optics system, the Atmospheric Compensation Experiment (ACE), on the 60-inch telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory in California in a program designed to investigate the performance of ACE at an astronomical site and to evaluate the usefulness of adaptive optics for astronomy. Despite its development as a non-astronomical instrument, ACE has produced positive results, including the obtaining of images of single and double stars with a resolution (full-width half-maximum) of 117 milliarcseconds at 700 nm. Improvement of image quality is obtained for guide objects with a B magnitude brighter than 5.9. To deepen this limiting magnitude, we have embarked on a low-noise high-speed CCD fabrication project jointly with JPL. First devices have been fabricated. We have applied post- processing techniques borrowed from speckle methodology to the adaptive optics images, and find that the pre- and post-processing techniques complement each other powerfully. We conclude that an adaptive optics system designed specifically for visible-wavelength astronomy would be a low-order system with good site thermal control, combined with post-processing. Such a system could be effective, robust and relatively low cost.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 August 1993
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 1920, Active and Adaptive Optical Components and Systems II, (25 August 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.152683
Show Author Affiliations
J. C. Shelton, Mt. Wilson Observatory (United States)
Sallie L. Baliunas, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1920:
Active and Adaptive Optical Components and Systems II
Mark A. Ealey, Editor(s)

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