Status of the 6.5 m MMT telescope Laser Adaptive Optics system

Eduardo A. Bendek, Michael Hart, Keith B. Powell, Norman M. Milton, Vidhya Vaitheeswaran, Don McCarthy, Craig Kulesa, Shawn Callahan, S. Mark Ammons, Aurea Garcia Rissmann

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

9 Scopus citations


The Laser Adaptive Optics system of the 6.5 m MMT telescope has now been commissioned with Ground Layer Adaptive Optics operations as a tool for astronomical science. In this mode the wavefronts sampled by each of five laser beacons are averaged, leading to an estimate of the aberration in the ground layer. The ground layer is then compensated by the deformable secondary mirror at 400 Hz. Image quality of 0.2-0.3 arc sec is delivered in the near infrared bands from 1.2-2.5 um over a field of view of 2 arc minutes. Tomographic wavefront sensing tests in May 2010 produced open loop data necessary to streamline the software to generate a Laser Tomography Adaptive Optics (LTAO) reconstructor. In addition, we present the work being done to achieve optimal control PID wavefront control and thus increase the disturbance rejection frequency response for the system. Finally, we briefly describe plans to mount the ARIES near infrared imager and echelle spectrograph, which will support the 2 arc min ground-layer corrected field and will exploit the diffraction limit anticipated with LTAO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdaptive Optics Systems II
EditionPART 1
StatePublished - Oct 18 2010
EventAdaptive Optics Systems II - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 27 2010Jul 2 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
NumberPART 1
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherAdaptive Optics Systems II
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Adaptive optics
  • Ground layer adaptive optics
  • Laser tomography
  • Optimal control
  • Rayleigh lasers

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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