The magellan telescope adaptive secondary AO system: A visible and Mid-IR AO facility

Laird M. Close, Victor Gasho, Derek Kopon, Jared Males, Katherine B. Follette, Kevin Brutlag, Alan Uomoto, Tyson Hare

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

26 Scopus citations


The Magellan Clay telescope is a 6.5m Gregorian telescope located in Chile at Las Campanas Observatory. The Gregorian design allows for an adaptive secondary mirror that can be tested off-sky in a straightforward manner. We have fabricated a 85 cm diameter aspheric adaptive secondary with our subcontractors and partners, the ASM passed acceptance tests in July 2010. This secondary has 585 actuators with <1 msec response times (0.7 ms typically). This adaptive secondary will allow low emissivity AO science. We will achieve very high Strehls (-98%) in the Mid-IR (3-26 microns) with the BLINC/MIRAC4 Mid-IR science camera. This will allow the first "super-resolution" and nulling Mid-IR studies of dusty southern objects. We will employ a high order (585 mode) pyramid wavefront sensor similar to that now successfully used at the Large Binocular Telescope. The relatively high actuator count will allow modest Strehls to be obtained in the visible (0.63-1.05 μn). Moderate (-20%) Strehls have already been obtained at 0.8 μm at the LBT with the same powerful combination of a next generation ASM and Pyramid WFS as we are providing for Magellan. Our visible light AO (VisAO) science camera is fed by an advanced triplet ADC and is piggy-backed on the WFS optical board. We have designed an additional "clean-up" very fast (2 kHz) tilt stabilization system for VisAO. Also a high-speed shutter will be used to block periods of poor correction. The VisAO facility can be reconfigured to feed an optical IFU spectrograph with 20 mas spaxels. The entire system passed CDR in June 2009, and is now finished the fabrication phase and is entering the integration phase. The system science and performance requirements, and an overview the design, interface and schedule for the Magellan AO system are presented here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdaptive Optics Systems II
EditionPART 1
StatePublished - 2010
EventAdaptive Optics Systems II - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 27 2010Jul 2 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
NumberPART 1
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherAdaptive Optics Systems II
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

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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