The Santa Cruz Extreme AO Lab (SEAL): Design and first light

Rebecca Jensen-Clem, Daren Dillon, Benjamin Gerard, M. A.M. Van Kooten, J. Fowler, Renate Kupke, Sylvain Cetre, Dominic Sanchez, Philip Hinz, Cesar Laguna, David Doelman, Frans Snik

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

1 Scopus citations


The Santa Cruz Extreme AO Lab (SEAL) is a new visible-wavelength testbed designed to advance the state of the art in wavefront control for high contrast imaging on large, segmented, ground-based telescopes. SEAL provides multiple options for simulating atmospheric turbulence, including a custom spatial light modulator. A 37-segment deformable mirror simulates the W. M. Keck Observatory segmented primary mirror. The adaptive optics system consists of a woofer/tweeter DM system, and four wavefront sensor arms: 1) a high-speed Shack-Hartmann WFS, 2) a reflective pyramid WFS, 3) vector-Zernike mask, and 4) a Fast Atmospheric SCC Technique demonstration arm. Finally, a science arm preliminarily includes a classical Lyot-style coronagraph. SEAL's real time control system is based on the CACAO package, and is designed to support the efficient transfer of software between SEAL and the Keck II AO system. In this paper, we present an overview of the design and first light performance of SEAL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets X
EditorsStuart B. Shaklan, Garreth J. Ruane
ISBN (Electronic)9781510644847
StatePublished - 2021
EventTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets X 2021 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 1 2021Aug 5 2021

Publication series

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


ConferenceTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets X 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Adaptive Optics
  • Coronagraphy
  • Exoplanets

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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