Large binocular telescope interferometer adaptive optics: On-sky performance and lessons learned

Vanessa P. Bailey, Philip M. Hinz, Alfio T. Puglisi, Simone Esposito, Vidhya Vaitheeswaran, Andrew J. Skemer, Denis Defrère, Amali Vaz, Jarron M. Leisenring

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

27 Scopus citations


The Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer is a high contrast imager and interferometer that sits at the combined bent Gregorian focus of the LBT's dual 8.4 m apertures. The interferometric science drivers dictate 0.1" resolution with 103 - 104 contrast at 10 μm, while the 4 μm imaging science drivers require even greater contrasts, but at scales <0.2". In imaging mode, LBTI's Adaptive Optics system is already delivering 4 μm contrast of 104 - 105 at 0.3" - 0.75" in good conditions. Even in poor seeing, it can deliver up to 90% Strehl Ratio at this wavelength. However, the performance could be further improved by mitigating Non-Common Path Aberrations. Any NCPA remedy must be feasible using only the current hardware: the science camera, the wavefront sensor, and the adaptive secondary mirror. In preliminary testing, we have implemented an "eye doctor" grid search approach for astigmatism and trefoil, achieving 5% improvement in Strehl Ratio at 4 μm, with future plans to test at shorter wavelengths and with more modes. We find evidence of NCPA variability on short timescales and discuss possible upgrades to ameliorate time-variable effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdaptive Optics Systems IV
EditorsJean-Pierre Veran, Enrico Marchetti, Laird M. Close
ISBN (Electronic)9780819496164
StatePublished - 2014
EventAdaptive Optics Systems IV - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Jun 22 2014Jun 27 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherAdaptive Optics Systems IV


  • Adaptive Optics
  • Infrared
  • Large Binocular Telescope
  • Non-Common Path Aberrations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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    Bailey, V. P., Hinz, P. M., Puglisi, A. T., Esposito, S., Vaitheeswaran, V., Skemer, A. J., Defrère, D., Vaz, A., & Leisenring, J. M. (2014). Large binocular telescope interferometer adaptive optics: On-sky performance and lessons learned. In J-P. Veran, E. Marchetti, & L. M. Close (Eds.), Adaptive Optics Systems IV [914803] (Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering; Vol. 9148). SPIE.