Lessons learned from the first adaptive secondary mirror

Michael Lloyd-Hart, Guido Brusa, François Wildi, Douglas Miller, Donald Fisher, Armando Riccardi

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The adaptive optics system for the 6.5 m MMT, based on a deformable secondary mirror, has been on the sky now for three commissioning runs totalling approximately 30 nights. The mirror has begun to demonstrate uniquely clean point-spread functions, high photon efficiency, and very low background in the thermal infrared. In this paper we review the lessons learned from the first few months of operation. Broadly, the hardware works well, and we are learning how procedures related to operation, system error recovery, and safety should be implemented in software. Experience with the MMT system is now guiding the design of the second and third adaptive secondaries, being built for the Large Binocular Telescope. In this context, we discuss the general requirements for retrofitting an adaptive secondary to an existing large telescope. Finally, we describe how the new technology can support the design of adaptive optics for 30-m class telescopes, with particular attention to ground-layer adaptive optics (GLAO), where conjugation as close as possible to the turbulence is important.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-89
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume5169
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003
EventAstronomical Adaptive Optics Systems and Applications - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 3 2003Aug 4 2003

Keywords

  • Adaptive optics
  • Adaptive secondary mirrors
  • Extremely large telescopes

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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