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Proceedings Paper

Laser technology for astronomical adaptive optics
Author(s): Donald Gavel
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Paper Abstract

In this paper we review the current status of work in the sodium guidestar laser arena from the perspective of an astronomical AO system developer and user. Sodium beacons provide the highest and most useful guidestars for the 8m and larger class telescopes, but unfortunately sodium lasers are expensive and difficult to build at high output powers. Here we present highlights of recent advancements in the laser technology. Perhaps most dramatic are the recent theoretical and experimental efforts leading to better understanding the physics of coupling the laser light to the upper altitude sodium for best return signal. In addition we will discuss the key issues which affect LGS AO system performance and their technology drivers, including: pulse format, guidestar elongation, crystal and fiber technology, and beam transport.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 July 2008
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7015, Adaptive Optics Systems, 70150J (10 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.796637
Show Author Affiliations
Donald Gavel, UCO/Lick Observatory, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7015:
Adaptive Optics Systems
Norbert Hubin; Claire E. Max; Peter L. Wizinowich, Editor(s)

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