Keyword: optics
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MOPGF071 Sodium Laser Guide Star Emulation laser, controls, hardware, software 1
  • I.A. Price
    Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Australian National University, Weston Creek, Australia
  • R. Conan
    GMTO Corporation, Pasadena, USA
  In the era of extremely large telescopes (ELT) an adaptive optics (AO) system with artificial guide stars is an essential part of the optics between the source and the instrument. For the Giant Magellan Telescope these guide stars are formed by stimulating emission from Sodium atoms in the atmosphere with lasers launched from the side of the telescope. Moreover, they are resolved by the adaptive optics system so Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensors record elongated spots. Cost effective proof-of-concept systems for investigating control algorithms must be built for deployment in the lab or on small telescopes. We present a hardware and software system that mimics the propagation of a single laser guide star (LGS) through the Earth's atmosphere and the optics of the Giant Magellan Telescope, using source motion and brightness modulation to simulate the source extension. A service oriented architecture allows adaptive optics scientists to construct images from different LGS asterisms and build non-real-time closed-loop control systems in high-level languages.  
poster icon Poster MOPGF071 [4.470 MB]