Latest GLAO results and advancements in laser tomography implementation at the 6.5m MMT telescope

Eduardo A. Bendek, Michael Hart, Keith B. Powell, Vidhya Vaitheeswaran, Don McCarthy, Craig Kulesa

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

6 Scopus citations


Laser tomography capability using a multi laser guide star (LGS) system is being implemented at the 6.5 m MMT telescope on Mt. Hopkins, AZ. The system uses five range-gated and dynamically refocused Rayleigh laser beacons to sense the atmospheric wavefront aberration. Corrections are then applied to the wavefront using the 336-actuator adaptive secondary mirror of the telescope. So far, the system has demonstrated successful control of ground-layer aberration over a field of view substantially wider than is delivered by conventional adaptive optics. In this paper, we report the latest results from this mode of operation, using for the first time a plate scale on our IR science camera that samples the diffraction scale at the Nyquist limit. We also discuss findings for a reduction in the width of the on-axis point-spread function from 1.07" to <0.2" in H band and present the progress achieved toward the implementation of laser tomography. This will be attempted by means of a least squares reconstructor, which is obtained using simultaneous measurements of the wavefronts from the LGS and an additional natural guide star.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAstronomical Adaptive Optics Systems and Applications IV
StatePublished - 2011
EventAstronomical Adaptive Optics Systems and Applications IV - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 21 2011Aug 24 2011

Publication series

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


OtherAstronomical Adaptive Optics Systems and Applications IV
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Adaptive Optics
  • Ground Layer Adaptive Optics
  • Laser Tomography
  • Rayleigh lasers

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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