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11 July 2008 Analysis of Normalized Point Source Sensitivity as a performance metric for the Thirty Meter Telescope
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We investigate a new metric, Normalized Point Source Sensitivity (PSSN), for characterizing the seeing limited performance of the Thirty Meter Telescope. As the PSSN metric is directly related to the photometric error of background limited observations, it truly represents the efficiency loss in telescope observing time. The PSSN metric properly accounts for the optical consequences of wavefront spatial frequency distributions due to different error sources, which makes it superior to traditional metrics such as the 80% encircled energy diameter. We analytically show that multiplication of individual PSSN values due to individual errors is a good approximation for the total PSSN when various errors are considered simultaneously. We also numerically confirm this feature for Zernike aberrations, as well as for the numerous error sources considered in the TMT error budget using a ray optics simulator, Modeling and Analysis for Controlled Optical Systems. We also discuss other pertinent features of the PSSN including its relations to Zernike aberration and RMS wavefront error.
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Byoung-Joon Seo, Carl Nissly, George Angeli, Brent Ellerbroek, Jerry Nelson, Norbert Sigrist, and Mitchell Troy "Analysis of Normalized Point Source Sensitivity as a performance metric for the Thirty Meter Telescope", Proc. SPIE 7017, Modeling, Systems Engineering, and Project Management for Astronomy III, 70170T (11 July 2008);

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