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14 July 2008 VASAO: visible all sky adaptive optics: a new adaptive optics concept for CFHT
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VASAO is an ambitious project that explores new conceptual direction in the field of astronomical adaptive optics. In the era of 8 meter and larger telescopes, and their instrument costs and telescope time pressure, there is a natural niche for such ground-breaking conceptual development in the 4 meter class telescope. The aim of VASAO is to provide diffraction limited imaging in the visible with 100% sky coverage; the challenge (but potential rewards) arises from the simultaneity of these requirements. To this end, CFHT is conducting a feasibility study based on the polychromatic guide star concept (Foy et al., 1995 [4]) coupled with a high order curvature AO system, presented in this paper. A number of experiments have been started (or carried out) to study the challenges and limits of the techniques involved in an operational setting; these include the FlyEyes detector, and a polychromatic tip-tilt test on natural stars. Because such a project straddles such a fine line between facility instrument and experimental facility, careful thought has to be given to the balance between modes of operations and potential astrophysical targets.
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Olivier Lai, Christian Veillet, Derrick Salmon, Kevin Ho, Marc R. Baril, Gregory A. Barrick, Jim Thomas, Douglas Teeple, Tom Benedict, Jean Paul Pique, and Hugues Guillet de Chatellus "VASAO: visible all sky adaptive optics: a new adaptive optics concept for CFHT", Proc. SPIE 7015, Adaptive Optics Systems, 701543 (14 July 2008);


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