Cassegrain and Nasmyth Adaptive Optics systems of 8.2-m Subaru Telescope

M. Iye, H. Takami, N. Takato, S. Oya, Y. Hayano, O. Guyon, S. Colley, M. Hattori, M. Watanabe, M. Eldred, Y. Saito, N. Saito, K. Akagawa, S. Wada

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The performance of the Cassegrain Adaptive Optics (AO) system of the 8.2 m Subaru Telescope is reported. The system is based on a curvature wavefront sensor with 36 photon-counting avalanche photodiode modules and a bimorph wavefront correcting deformable mirror with 36 driving electrodes. This AO system has been in service since 2002 April for two open-use instruments, an infrared camera and spectrograph (IRCS) and a coronagraph imager with adaptive optics (CIAO). The Strehl ratio in the K-band is around 0.3 when a bright guide star is available under 0″.4 seeing condition. High sensitivity of the wavefront sensor allows significant improvement in the image quality, even for faint guide stars down to R = 18 mag. The design of the new Nasmyth Adaptive Optics system with 188 control elements under construction is described. This new system with fivefold increase in the number of control elements will provide twice higher Strehl ratio of 0.7. To increase the sky coverage for this new system, a power laser system to produce an artificail guide star in the upper atmosphere is also under construction. The AO system with laser guide capability enables the coverage up to 80% of the entire sky and offers diffraction limited observation for almost any target in the sky. An all solid-state 4W laser to generate the sodium D line emission by summing the two YAG laser frequencies is under development. The generated laser beam is tranmitted through a photonic crystal fiber to the laser launching telescope attached at the backside of the secondary mirror. Expected performance of this laser guide Nasmyth AO system is shown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number01
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2004
EventAdaptive Options and Applications III - Beijing, China
Duration: Nov 8 2004Nov 9 2004


  • Adaptive Optics
  • High Resolution Imaging
  • Laser Guide Star
  • Wavefront Sensor

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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