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 language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific|
|State||Published - Feb 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science