Thermal performance enhancement of adaptive optics by use of a deformable secondary mirror

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64 Scopus citations

Abstract

An adaptive optics system is being built for the 6.5 m Multiple Mirror Telescope (MMT) conversion on Mount Hopkins for diffraction-limited observations in the near-infrared. At the heart of the system is a deformable secondary mirror which introduces corrections to the optical wavefront. By compensating these errors at the telescope's secondary, the system has been optimized for low thermal emissivity and high photon throughput. The scientific productivity of the facility will thereby be enhanced in comparison with a telescope equipped with more conventional adaptive optics. The Large Binocular Telescope under construction on Mount Graham will also use adaptive secondary mirrors. This paper explores the benefit to both facilities in terms of the integration time required to achieve a given signal-to-noise ratio. The gain is found to be substantial in the photometric bands K, L, M, and N.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-272
Number of pages9
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Volume112
Issue number768
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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