Adaptive Optics

Via the ARL at UH, IfA is developing an autonomous laser-adaptive-optics system for the 1.8-meter U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO) telescope that will be commissioned in Flagstaff, Arizona. The USNO adaptive optics (AO) system is based on the Robotic Laser Adaptive Optics System (Robo-AO-2) being built for the UH 2.2-meter telescope. They both use an eye-safe ultraviolet (UV) laser guide star and corresponding opto-electronically-gated UV-wave-front sensor to measure atmospheric turbulence, and a micro-electromechanical-system deformable mirror to correct the light. Both AO systems will robotically execute large-scale surveys, monitor long-term astrophysical dynamics and characterize newly discovered transients, all at the visible diffraction limit.