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Proceedings Paper

Preliminary results of the 2001-2002 Gemini sodium monitoring campaign at Cerro Tololo, Chile
Author(s): Celine d'Orgeville; Francois J. Rigaut; Maxime Boccas; Christopher Dainty; Enrique Figueroa; Ralf Flicker; Brooke Gregory; Laurent Michaille; John C. Quartel; Andrei A. Tokovinin; Gelys Trancho; Nicholas J. Wooder
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Paper Abstract

In the near future several astronomical observatories in Chile are planning to use sodium laser guide stars to increase the sky coverage provided by their adaptive optics facilities. Knowledge of the mesospheric sodium layer behavior is crucial to predict the performance of future laser guide star adaptive optics systems. Whereas the sodium layer has been observed quite extensively at several locations, many of them in the Northern Hemisphere, very little measurements have been made in Chile. The Gemini Observatory therefore initiated a year-long sodium monitoring campaign at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory located only a few kilometers away from the Gemini South telescope where a conventional laser guide star facility will be offered to the community in 2005, soon to be upgraded to a multi-conjugate adaptive optics system with five laser guide stars. This paper reports on the laser-based sodium monitoring experimental set up and data reduction techniques, and presents some preliminary results on the sodium column density and layer altitude variations observed from February 2001 to February 2002. Implications for the Gemini South Adaptive Optics system expected performance are presented as well.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 February 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4839, Adaptive Optical System Technologies II, (7 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.457005
Show Author Affiliations
Celine d'Orgeville, Gemini Observatory (United States)
Francois J. Rigaut, Gemini Observatory (United States)
Maxime Boccas, Gemini Observatory (United States)
Christopher Dainty, Blackett Lab./Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine (United Kingdom)
Enrique Figueroa, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
Ralf Flicker, Lund Observatory (Sweden)
Brooke Gregory, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
Laurent Michaille, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (United Kingdom)
John C. Quartel, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (United Kingdom)
Andrei A. Tokovinin, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile)
Gelys Trancho, Gemini Observatory (United States)
Nicholas J. Wooder, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4839:
Adaptive Optical System Technologies II
Peter L. Wizinowich; Domenico Bonaccini, Editor(s)

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