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Ellerbroek B.L.,TMT Observatory Corporation
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2014

The vertical profile of the mesospheric sodium layer varies significantly on a time scale of one minute. These variations can impact the random and systematic measurement errors of laser guide star Shack-Hartmann wave front sensors, particularly on extremely large telescopes. Sensor performance can be improved by selecting pixel processing weights matched to the sodium layer profile, assuming that the shape of the profile can be measured or estimated in real time. In this paper we describe the magnitude of these effects for the Thirty Meter Telescope AO system NFIRAOS. We review several existing approaches for measuring or estimating the sodium layer profile in real time. We then describe a new method for estimating the profile directly from the laser guide star wave front pixel intensities themselves, jointly with the subaperture tip/tilt measurements. The algorithm used for this purpose is based upon the multi-frame iterative blind deconvolution algorithm from image post processing: Subaperture tip/tilts and the sodium profile are estimated successively, bootstrapping the estimate of each quantity from the previous estimate of the other. We present promising initial simulation results on the potential performance of the algorithm, and suggest areas for future work. © 2014 SPIE. Source

Vogiatzis K.,TMT Observatory Corporation
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2014

Aero-thermal simulations are an integral part of the design process for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). These simulations utilize Computational Solid-Fluid Dynamics (CSFD) to estimate wind jitter and blur, dome and mirror seeing, telescope pointing error due to thermal drift, and to predict thermal effects on performance of components such as the primary mirror segments. Design guidance obtained from these simulations is provided to the Telescope, Enclosure, Facilities and Adaptive Optics groups. Computational advances allow for model enhancements and inclusion of phenomena not previously resolved, such as transient effects on wind loading and thermal seeing due to vent operation while observing or long exposure effects, with potentially different flow patterns corresponding to the beginning and end of observation. Accurate knowledge of the Observatory aero-thermal environment will result in developing reliable look-up tables for effective open loop correction of key active optics system elements, and cost efficient operation of the Observatory. © 2014 SPIE. Source

Ellerbroek B.L.,TMT Observatory Corporation
Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Year: 2013

We provide an update on the recent development of the adaptive optics (AO) systems for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) since mid-2011. The first light AO facility for TMT consists of the Narrow Field Infra-Red AO System (NFIRAOS) and the associated Laser Guide Star Facility (LGSF). This order 60 × 60 laser guide star (LGS) multi-conjugate AO (MCAO) architecture will provide uniform, diffraction-limited performance in the J, H and K bands over 17-30 arcsec diameter fields with 50 per cent sky coverage at the galactic pole, as is required to support TMT science cases. The NFIRAOS and LGSF subsystems completed successful preliminary and conceptual design reviews, respectively, in the latter part of 2011. We also report on progress in AO component prototyping, control algorithm development, and system performance analysis, and conclude with an outline of some possible future AO systems for TMT. © 2013 Indian Academy of Sciences. Source

Sanders G.H.,California Institute of Technology | Sanders G.H.,TMT Observatory Corporation
Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Year: 2013

The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will be the first truly global ground-based optical/infrared observatory. It will initiate the era of extremely large (30-meter class) telescopes with diffraction limited performance from its vantage point in the northern hemisphere on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA. The astronomy communities of India, Canada, China, Japan and the USA are shaping its science goals, suite of instrumentation and the system design of the TMT observatory. With large and open Nasmyth-focus platforms for generations of science instruments, TMT will have the versatility and flexibility for its envisioned 50 years of forefront astronomy. The TMT design employs the filled-aperture finely-segmented primary mirror technology pioneered with the W.M. Keck 10-meter telescopes. With TMT's 492 segments optically phased, and by employing laser guide star assisted multi-conjugate adaptive optics, TMT will achieve the full diffraction limited performance of its 30-meter aperture, enabling unprecedented wide field imaging and multi-object spectroscopy. The TMT project is a global effort of its partners with all partners contributing to the design, technology development, construction and scientific use of the observatory. TMT will extend astronomy with extremely large telescopes to all of its global communities. © 2013 Indian Academy of Sciences. Source

Ellerbroek B.,TMT Observatory Corporation
3rd AO4ELT Conference - Adaptive Optics for Extremely Large Telescopes | Year: 2013

This paper provides an overview of the progress made since the last AO4ELT conference towards developing the first-light AO architecture for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). The Preliminary Design of the facility AO system NFIRAOS has been concluded by the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics. Work on the client Infrared Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) has progressed in parallel, including a successful Conceptual Design Review and prototyping of On-Instrument WFS (OIWFS) hardware. Progress on the design for the Laser Guide Star Facility (LGSF) continues at the Institute of Optics and Electronics in Chengdu, China, including the final acceptance of the Conceptual Design and modest revisions for the updated TMT telescope structure. Design and prototyping activities continue for lasers, wavefront sensing detectors, detector readout electronics, real-time control (RTC) processors, and deformable mirrors (DMs) with their associated drive electronics. Highlights include development of a prototype sum frequency guide star laser at the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry (Beijing); fabrication/test of prototype natural- and laser-guide star wavefront sensor CCDs for NFIRAOS by MIT Lincoln Laboratory and W.M. Keck Observatory; a trade study of RTC control algorithms and processors, with prototyping of GPU and FPGA architectures by TMT and the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory; and fabrication/test of a 6×60 actuator DM prototype by CILAS. Work with the University of British Columbia LIDAR is continuing, in collaboration with ESO, to measure the spatial/temporal variability of the sodium layer and characterize the sodium coupling e_ciency of several guide star laser systems. AO performance budgets have been further detailed. Modeling topics receiving particular attention include performance vs. computational cost tradeoffs for RTC algorithms; optimizing performance of the tip/tilt, plate scale, and sodium focus tracking loops controlled by the NGS on-instrument wavefront sensors, sky coverage, PSF reconstruction for LGS MCAO, and precision astrometry for the galactic center and other observations. Source

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