Presenter Information

Jianing Yang, Colby CollegeFollow

Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

30-4-2015 9:00 AM

End Date

30-4-2015 10:55 AM

Project Type

Poster

Description

We constructed a simple adaptive optics system to demonstrate how a laser guide star coupled with a deformable mirror and wavefront sensor can be used to correct for distortions caused by turbulence in the Earths atmosphere. Adaptive optics (AO) systems are currently implemented at a number of national astronomical observatories, including the W. M. Keck Observatory, Gemini, and Subaru, and is a key design component for the next generation of very large (30-meter-class) ground-based telescopes. Adaptive optics is crucial for improving spatial resolution of ground-based imaging in astronomy. Using AO, we are able to achieve better image quality with the largest ground-based telescopes than we can achieve with space-based telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope and its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope. The laboratory setting of our device allows us to understand the principles required to correct for wavefront distortions before implementing such a system on a telescope. The system includes a mirror with a 6x6 array of actuators that can deform its shape up to 5.5 microns from its reference position. A software package receives and processes signals from the wavefront sensor and sends corrections to the mirror at a rate of 15 Hz. We will finish alignment of the optics in the coming weeks, and will begin testing by introducing artificial distortions to examine overall system performance.

Faculty Sponsor

Sahan T. M. Dissanayake

CLAS Field of Study

Natural Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

979

Comments

CARA Scholars Session

Included in

Life Sciences Commons

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Apr 30th, 9:00 AM Apr 30th, 10:55 AM

Demonstration of Adaptive Optics in a Laboratory Setting

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

We constructed a simple adaptive optics system to demonstrate how a laser guide star coupled with a deformable mirror and wavefront sensor can be used to correct for distortions caused by turbulence in the Earths atmosphere. Adaptive optics (AO) systems are currently implemented at a number of national astronomical observatories, including the W. M. Keck Observatory, Gemini, and Subaru, and is a key design component for the next generation of very large (30-meter-class) ground-based telescopes. Adaptive optics is crucial for improving spatial resolution of ground-based imaging in astronomy. Using AO, we are able to achieve better image quality with the largest ground-based telescopes than we can achieve with space-based telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope and its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope. The laboratory setting of our device allows us to understand the principles required to correct for wavefront distortions before implementing such a system on a telescope. The system includes a mirror with a 6x6 array of actuators that can deform its shape up to 5.5 microns from its reference position. A software package receives and processes signals from the wavefront sensor and sends corrections to the mirror at a rate of 15 Hz. We will finish alignment of the optics in the coming weeks, and will begin testing by introducing artificial distortions to examine overall system performance.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2015/program/195