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Proceedings Paper

Testing FPGAs for real-time control of adaptive optics in giant telescopes
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Paper Abstract

Real-time control has been clearly identified as a separate challenging field within Adaptive Optics, where a lot of computations have to be performed at kilohertz rate to properly actuate the mirror(s) before the input wavefront information has become obsolete. When considering giant telescopes, the number of guide stars, wavefront samples and actuators rises to a level where the amount of processing is far from being manageable by today's conventional processors and even from the expectations given by Moore's law for the next years. FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) technology has been proposed to overcome this problem by using its massively parallel nature and its superb speed. A complete laboratory test bench using only one FPGA was developed by our group [1], and now this paper summarizes the early results of a real telescope adaptive optics system based in the FPGA-only approach. The system has been installed in the OGS telescope at "Observatorio del Teide", Tenerife, Spain, showing that a complete system with 64 Shack-Hartmann microlenses and 37 actuators (plus tip-tilt mirror) can be implemented with a real time control completely contained within a Xilinx Virtex-4 LX25 FPGA. The wavefront sensor has been implemented using a PULNIX gigabit ethernet camera (714 frames per second), and an ANDOR IXON camera has been used for the evaluation of the overall correcting behavior.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 June 2006
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6272, Advances in Adaptive Optics II, 62723X (27 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.669960
Show Author Affiliations
Luis F. Rodríguez-Ramos, Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (Spain)
Teodora Viera, Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (Spain)
Guillermo Herrera, Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (Spain)
José V. Gigante, Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (Spain)
Fernando Gago, Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (Spain)
Ángel Alonso, Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (Spain)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6272:
Advances in Adaptive Optics II
Brent L. Ellerbroek; Domenico Bonaccini Calia, Editor(s)

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