Daylight operation of a sodium laser guide star for adaptive optics wavefront sensing

Michael Hart, Stuart M. Jefferies, Neil Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We report contrast measurements of a sodium resonance guide star against the daylight sky when observed through a tuned magneto-optical filter (MOF). The guide star was created by projection of a laser beam at 589.16 nm into the mesospheric sodium layer and the observations were made with a collocated 1.5-m telescope. While MOFs are used with sodium light detecting and ranging systems during the day to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of the measurements, they have not so far been employed with laser guide stars to drive adaptive optics (AO) systems to correct atmospherically induced image blur. We interpret our results in terms of the performance of AO systems for astronomy, with particular emphasis on thermal infrared observations at the next generation of extremely large telescopes now being built.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number040501
JournalJournal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • adaptive optics
  • daylight observing
  • laser guide star
  • wavefront sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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