Scientific goals for the MMT's multi-laser-guided adaptive optics

Michael Lloyd-Hart, Thomas Stalcup, Christoph Baranec, N. Mark Milton, Matt Rademacher, Miguel Snyder, Michael Meyer, Daniel Eisenstein

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

7 Scopus citations


The MMT's five Rayleigh laser guide star system has successfully demonstrated open loop wavefront sensing for both ground-layer and laser tomography adaptive optics (AO). Closed loop correction is expected for the first time in the autumn of 2006. The program is moving into its second phase: construction of a permanent facility to feed AO instruments now used with the telescope's existing natural star AO system. The new facility will preserve the thermal cleanliness afforded by the system's adaptive secondary mirror. With the present laser power of 4 W in each of the Rayleigh beacons, we will first offer ground-layer correction over a 2 arcmin field in J, H, and K bands, with expected image quality routinely 0.2 arcsec or better. Later, we will also offer imaging and spectroscopy from 1.5 to 4.8 μm with a tomographically corrected diffraction limited beam. The development of these techniques will lead to a facility all-sky capability at the MMT for both ground-layer and diffraction-limited imaging, and will be a critical advance in the tools necessary for extremely large telescopes of the future, particularly the Giant Magellan Telescope. We describe the present state of system development, planned progress to completion, and highlight the early scientific applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Adaptive Optics II
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventAdvances in Adaptive Optics II - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: May 24 2006May 31 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume6272 III
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherAdvances in Adaptive Optics II
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL


  • Adaptive optics
  • Laser guide stars
  • Tomography

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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